Here is Sakshi, cricket's first WAG

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  • Published 5.07.10

Calcutta, July 4: Meet the first lady — or the crown WAG — of Indian cricket.

Although little is emerging from behind a veil of secrecy, one thing’s for sure, Sakshi Singh Rawat — Mrs Mahendra Singh Dhoni from tonight — is a Calcutta girl.

The 23-year-old clearly mentions Calcutta as “hometown” on her Facebook profile — where her status still reads, “In a relationship”.

Sakshi has been living with her parents in the Sundaram apartment of Alipore for more than a decade. The family hails from Dehra Dun, but Sakshi’s father divides his time between Calcutta and north Bengal. He is an executive director with the Kanoi Group’s Binaguri Tea Company, which has its corporate office on RN Mukherjee Road and gardens in the Dooars and the Terai.

Sakshi, a former boarding school student of Welham Girls’ in Dehra Dun, would spend every vacation in Calcutta. She later got into the Institute of Hotel Management in Aurangabad but chose to do her internship with Taj Bengal, almost a Dhoni sixer away from her Alipore residence.

It is during her stint at the front desk of the star hotel that Sakshi apparently met Dhoni — Taj Bengal being the team hotel when India plays at the Eden Gardens.

“Dhoni was waiting for Sakshi to finish her studies before tying the knot,” said a close friend of the captain. Sakshi completed her IHM course a few months back and this Dehra Dun weekend marriage was planned with hardly a handful of people in the know.

Sakshi played the perfect star fiancee keeping things hush-hush, just the way Dhoni wanted. As Mrs MSD, for instance, she could have asked Sabyasachi Mukherjee to design a special outfit for the big day but she chose instead to walk into the designer’s Topsia bridal salon two months ago and pick up a simple brocade lehenga. When asked who the groom was, she refused to give details and just said it was for “a high-profile marriage”.

The list of her high-profile Facebook friends — Harbhajan Singh, Rohit Sharma, R.P. Singh, Virat Kohli, Pragyan Ojha — was the only hint she had dropped in the virtual world about her status as the would-be WAG number one of Indian cricket.

It also seems to be an attraction of opposites. Going by her Facebook profile, Sakshi’s taste in movies and music has little in common with Dhoni’s. If he loves old Hindi film songs, especially those by Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar, she is more into Akon (R&B rapper) and Akcent (Romanian dance pop act). If MSD loves Bollywood — he has been linked with screen sirens and is a biker buddy of John Abraham — Sakshi is more of a Hollywood junkie, being a huge Robert Pattinson (the Twilight star) fan.

Among the few in Calcutta to have met Dhoni and Sakshi during their courtship is Nidhi Kajaria, a neighbour at the Sundaram apartment. So, the last word came from her: “They look very good together.”


Actresses who have been linked with MS Dhoni, and a fan who stunned the star

Deepika Padukone
In 2007, Mahi invited her to watch a Team India match in Mumbai, sending cameras clicking and tongues wagging. That Yuvraj Singh was the other angle of this supposed triangle made the skipper’s link-up with the Om Shanti Om girl even spicier.

Lakshmi Rai
A leading lady in Tamil and Malayalam movies, she was said to be the chosen one when Dhoni attended her birthday party in 2008. Quotable quotes like “I’m ready to marry Dhoni, if he asks” added fuel to the
rumour fire

They were first seen together in a brand commercial early this year. Then came word that Dhoni had watched the first IPL semi-final in the Ghajini girl’s house. Both
maintained they were just good friends.

Shiuli Haseena Nasrin
Haseena who? The girl from Behrampore who had bulldozed her way through the security cordon outside Eden Gardens to hug her hero, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, in May 2007.

Yesterday’s hug has turned to today’s heartbreak. “Biye to hobei. Otake to atkano jabe na (Marriage was bound to happen. That cannot be stopped),” she sighed.

As a first-year student of Behrampore College, Haseena had tracked Mahi for five days in Calcutta before stunning him with a tight hug. “I love him because of his hard- hitting batting style and his hair,” she had gushed then.

Now, she seemed reconciled to hero- worshipping a married man. “Sakshi is his life
partner but I will continue to remain his fan no. 1.”