Dhoni Grows Up: It’s All in the Hair

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I had never been a fan of Dhoni’s long hair, but that seemed to be the fashion (what with both Shahrukh and Shoaib Akthar joining in with hair length competitions). Still, it appears the Indian media has raised a frenzy of late because those “long locks” have suddenly gone.

It’s strange, but I just don’t think of cricketers as trend-setting fashion icons. They can be so much else — symbols of national pride; talented athletes, etc. — but models? A few years ago, the British public (and most football fans, including my deeply heterosexual roommate) obsessed over every different hairstyle that David Beckham chose to sport for the day. He was briefly replaced by Kevin Pietersen, who went through a similar phase in 2005-2006. Of course, when Pietersen wanted to prove that he was a big and responsible boy, he cropped everything and proposed to a supermodel named, um, “Celeste.”

This is cricket, not football; we still play our Test matches in white flannels and we still praise a batsman as much for leaving a ball as we do when he actually makes contact. I’m not saying that characters aren’t allowed in cricket; it just seems a tad out of place, no?

Of course, I don’t know if Dhoni had anything else on his mind other than his hair, but could this be a not-so-subliminal reach for the Test captaincy? (Oh, to delight in vacuous rumors!) At the very least, it could mean that Dhoni woke up and realized that no self-respecting 26-year old should look like he did.

Now, all we have to do is convince Lasith Malinga to shave his head off, and all will be well.

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