The homecoming of Dhoni...

If ever a proof of his rise in popularity was needed, it was there in ample measure when Team India arrived on Monday.
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Updated on Feb 20, 2006 08:55 PM IST
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None | ByPress Trust of India, New Delhi

If ever a proof of Mahendra Singh Dhoni's steep rise on popularity charts was needed, it was there in ample measure when some of the Indian cricket team members arrived from Pakistan on Monday morning.

Players like Mohammed Kaif, RP Singh, Suresh Raina, Gautam Gambhir and Murali Kartik had to beat a hasty retreat to allow a sizeable crowd at the Indira Gandhi airport to have a go at their favourite star which happened to be no other than Dhoni.

Sporting team India t-shirt and flashy goggles that rested nicely on his golden-streaked mane, Dhoni himself was taken by surprise to see the crowd chanting his name and jostling with one another to catch a glimpse of him.

It all went on to prove that Dhoni has not only become an inseparable part of the cricket team, but with his rock-star looks, he has elevated himself to stardom status.

That the latest pin-up boy of Indian cricket has beaten everyone when it comes to popularity could be gauged from the way fans rooted for him and credited him for the successful ODI series in Pakistan.

What was a motley crowd initially, swelled in numbers as the news spread that Dhoni was among those arriving from Pakistan.

A nearly one hour wait, since the PIA flight landed at 12.15, was not an issue for the fans standing outside the VIP exit to catch a glimpse of the Indian cricket's latest power hitter.

And when finally Dhoni showed up, the fans tried to get near him, sparking off a commotion.

Security persons formed a ring around the cricketer and faced a tough time in escorting him to the vehicle outside even as the other players, including Kaif made a quiet exit.

Media's wait for bytes vanished in thin air as everything went haywire in the commotion.

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