Somi Kohli, the owner of cricket manufacturing company ‘Beat all Sports’, commonly known as BAS, recently reminisced about his 22-year-old relationship with former Indian captain MS Dhoni.
Kohli reminisced about the time when one of his dealers Paramjeet Singh used to convince him to sponsor the kit of an 18-year-old MS Dhoni.
The 66-year-old revealed that it took Singh a period of six months to finally convince him. Kohli expressed his gratefulness for being associated with a global icon like Dhoni, adding that he was left disappointed when he heard of the former captain’s retirement.
“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,” Somi Kohli told the Indian Express.
“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,” added an emotional Kohli.
‘Auntie, main Dhoni.’- Somi Kohli reveals an interesting story involving MS Dhoni and his wife
Somi Kohli also went on to recall an incident from 2004 when his wife failed to recognize MS Dhoni, during the latters visit to his house. Kohli revealed that the incident affected Dhoni so much that he couldn’t sleep that night, and after he stroked his maiden ODI hundred against Pakistan in Vizag (2005), the former captain made it a point to call him where he jokingly told his wife his name.
“In 2004, I first met him in Chandigarh and months later he came to Jalandhar to visit our factory. Dhoni stayed at my home and when I told my wife Manju Kohli, she asked, “Who is he?” The next day, when I met Dhoni, he told me he could not sleep for hours thinking about my wife’s words,” he revealed.
”Some months later, when he scored the century against Pakistan, Dhoni called us at 11 in the night and asked me if he could talk to my wife. He told her, ‘Auntie, main Dhoni.’ My wife told him, ‘Beta, now the whole world knows who Dhoni is.’ That was the bond we shared,” said Kohli.
Kohli went to hail MS Dhoni as the ‘Kohinoor of Indian Cricket’.
”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,” he concluded.