After James Bond and Beijing Olympic Games gold-medallist Abhinav Bindra, India cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni to will own a world famous Walther rifle.
A top importer of shooting equipment for leading Indian marksmen, indianshooting.com, received an invoice from Dhoni on October 21 for a top-end rifle priced at 2,400 euros (Rs 14.8 lakh approximately).
“This is the best rifle Walther has. And I have received confirmation from the company that the amount has been received from the Indian skipper,” said Shimon Sharif, the website’s director and an international marksman who represented India in the 2003 World Cup in Seoul along with Bindra.
“A week after the Commonwealth Games, I got a mail from Dhoni wanting to buy a Walther rifle. At first we didn’t realise it was him as we get many mails from people wanting to purchase rifles and pistols. Our company is Walther’s representatives in India,” said Sharif.
“Later, when I saw the mail (again) around 2 am, I realised it was our very own India skipper, Mahi. I was overjoyed. I replied to him personally and, to my surprise, I got an answer in five minutes. He seemed very serious about buying the rifle.
“Dhoni had shown interest in the Carbontec air rifle, the one used by Bindra at the Beijing Olympic Games. The rifle is expected to reach India in a week’s time. He also told me that he has recently shifted to his new house,” said the Delhi-based Sharif, adding that Dhoni said he was a life-member of the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI), shooting’s apex body in India.
“Usually, I assemble and adjust the rifles for all our clients and shooters and would be happy to do it for Mahi as well. Every rifle has to be adjusted as per the shooter’s specifications. Till now, people at Walther don’t know about their latest high-profile client in India,” said Sharif, adding,
“It’s good to see top cricketers being attracted to shooting.”