Dhoni continues "to oblige" Economy Class passengers
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It is not rare for former India captain MS Dhoni to offer his own business class seat to a passenger in Economy Class.
Last week he gave up his business class seat to CSK franchise director K George John and sat himself in economy class while travelling to Dubai and thus won millions of hearts with the heartwarming gesture.
The CSK director, who is 6'-1" tall, compared to Dhoni's 5.75 feet (heights have been confirmed by this reporter), then took to social media to express his thoughts on Mahi and wrote: "When a man who’s seen it all, done it all in Cricket tells you, “Your legs are too long, sit in my seat (Business Class), I’ll sit in Economy.” The skipper never fails to amaze me. @msdhoni."
Dhoni did not amaze the CSK man but 10 years ago did surprise Sarjit Singh Situ, a hotelier in Ranchi.
Situ was returning to Ranchi from Mumbai, where his wife was hospitalized.
"Dhoni was with his friends and teammates. I just went there and had a look at him. He inquired about me and there he learnt about my wife's illness", Situ, narrating the incident, said to this reporter.
"Then I went back to my last row seat with sadness and thoughts about my wife's sickness (she had cancer, now fully recovered)".
"Bhaiya, aap pichhe baithe ho, hum aate hai (brother you are sitting there, I am coming there), Dhoni said once the plane took off and came to me and sat next to me. Believe me, he gave me company till we alighted the plane at the Ranchi airport".
"We discussed a lot of families and cricket and lighted up my spirits".
"Since then we became friends and he also visited my Punjabi Dhaba restaurant on Station Road several occasions", Situ further added.
"Mahendra Singh Dhoni hardly ever sat in business class on these flights even when he was the skipper as he would prefer to sit with the real champs of the TV coverage, the cameramen and the sound engineers," Gavaskar once said in his popular column.
There are instances when he has offered his seat to the cameraman.
Current skipper Virat Kohli has also picked up this trait from his predecessor, according to former England captain Michael Vaughan, who had revealed in 2018 that he saw Kohli and his wife Anushka Sharma give up their business class seats to India's fast bowlers on a flight from Adelaide to Perth during the 2018-19 Border-Gavaskar series.
"Danger Australia... Not only are the quicks more relaxed. The Skipper is managing his troops with great human touches #AUSvIND", Vaughan had cautioned Australians.