Dhoni's 22-year-long associate recalls when he stayed back at his residence once in Jalandhar.
BAS owner Somi Kohli opens up about his close relationship with Dhoni.
The tale of Ranchi-born legend, MS Dhoni and his friend’s ordeal to bag him a contract for a kit with a famous cricket-equipment manufacturing firm is well-documented in his biopic, ‘MS Dhoni: The Untold Story’.
Dhoni’s close accomplice, Paramjeet Singh, a good sports businessman, had to convince Beat-All-Sports (BAS) owner Somi Kohli for six months about sponsoring the kit for a talented wicket-keeping batsman from Ranchi.
Since Somi agreed upon vesting his trust on Dhoni’s sparkling talent, it has led to a 22-year-long association. “As a cricket manufacturing company, we are always on the lookout for new talent and our dealer Paramjeet Singh had been calling me consistently to tell about this young cricketer from Ranchi. After six months of him trying to convince me, I sent the kits to Mahendra Singh Dhoni in February, 1998, and it has been a 22-year-long association with him for us,” 66-year-old Kohli, told Indian Express.
Even the BAS owner has expressed his disbelief regarding Dhoni’s sudden decision to put a halt to his international career.
“When I got to know about his retirement yesterday, I could not believe it first and could not sleep for hours. He has been a gem of a cricketer and we are glad that we could also play a part in his journey so far,” the Jalandhar resident added.
Further, Kohli talked about the recently retired cricketer’s preferences for the bat designs.
“Unlike many cricketers, Dhoni always plays with an oval handle and his bats are bit heavy from the back. A bat is like the most important weapon in a cricketer’s arsenal and we always make sure that whatever the player requires, we are able to make.”
Kohli also went on to claim that he even made that the bat used by Sachin Tendulkar, during his epic double-ton at Gwalior against South Africa in 2009.
“In 2009, I remember I was in Dhoni’s room when Sachin visited us and Dhoni and Yuvraj told me to first prepare a good bat for Sachin. Sachin went on to hit a century against Australia and later scored 200 against South Africa with the same bat.”
Further, he touched upon the most heart-melting gesture made by Dhoni in the 2019 ODI World Cup in England. Knowing well it could be his last world cup appearance, Mahi donned the logos of all the sporting companies he was associated with in career, which also included BAS.
“Last year, prior to the World Cup in England, Dhoni asked us for BAS logos in blue and it was his way to show gratitude. He could have earned crores with a deal but he wanted to show his gratitude. That makes him the Kohinoor of Indian cricket,” Somi concluded.