The Dhoni biopic directed by Neeraj Pandey has already promised several untold stories from the life of MS Dhoni and according to latest reports, one of those stories is a love story which didn’t end happily ever after for the cricketer and his first love.
According to a source close to the production, when Dhoni was in his early 20s, fighting hard for a place in the Indian team, he met and fell in love with a girl called Priyanka Jha. He was still in his early 20s that time, but he knew he had found his life partner and dreamt spending the rest of his life with her.
The young extremely talented wicket-keeper from Ranchi was shining on the field too, especially in the ODIs when he was selected for the India A squad to tour Zimbabwe and Kenya in 2003-2004.
In the tri-nation tournament with Kenya and Pakistan, he guided India A chase down 223 against their arch-rivals with a brilliant half-century, following up with consecutive hundreds, scoring 362 runs in six innings at an average of 72.40, and impressing the then Indian captain Sourav Ganguly and Ravi Shastri.
But while he won prizes, out of nowhere tragedy struck and his love Priyanka was killed in an accident. He was completely devastated when he returned home to know the ‘secret’ and was in even mourning for almost a year.
For a while those close to him feared he might fall apart but slowly but steadily, showing the strength of character that would take him to the top of his career, Dhoni clawed his way back to find a place among the men in blue.
It was the second match of the ODI series against Pakistan in Vishakhapatnam in 2004-2005, he scored sensational 148 off only 123 deliveries, overtaking the earlier record for the highest score by an Indian wicketkeeper, a record that he would rewrite before the year ended.
After that there was no looking back, he continued fairytale like a journey. But he never forgot his first love even after he found love again with Sakshi Singh Rawat, whom he married on July 4, 2010, in Dehradun, a day after they were engaged.
Sakshi, played by Kiara Advani, has a role too in MS Dhoni: The Untold Story, that unveils on September 30 with Sushant Singh Rajput in the title role.
Neeraj Pandey had taken Dhoni’s consent to include this tragic secret track in the film as this girl’s entry and exit marked a turning point in his life. And after some deliberation, he finally agreed that this important chapter in his life needed to be told to the world. The world has to know who was his first love.