From ‘Kai Po Che!’ to ‘MS Dhoni: The Untold Story’: Cricket was a theme in Sushant’s life

The news of Indian actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death has shocked the people around the country. Sushant was found dead by hanging on Sunday afternoon in his Bandra residence by the Mumbai Police.

Tributes have since been pouring in for the versatile actor. Sushant started his career as a TV actor and made his movie debut in 2013 with ‘Kai Po Che’.

Cricket has been a defining part of Sushant’s life – for one of his sisters, Mitu Singh, has been a state-level cricketer. His love for cricket was apparent in his personal life – in one of the tweets last year, he wrote a list of his 50 dreams. The third dream read, “Play a Cricket Match left-handed.”

Three years after ‘Kai Po Che’, Sushant immortalised himself in Indian households with his depiction of Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the titular movie. Sushant led us into the parts of Dhoni’s life where the cricketer himself never took anyone.

With utter acting brilliance, Sushant showed us how the hysteria around MS Dhoni’s big-hitting prowess gripped his childhood school. “Mahi maar raha hai!”, one of the dialogues in the movie, has been immortalised with MS Dhoni ever since. Sushant was the gateway to MS Dhoni’s struggles as a young cricketer, his successes on the field, the heartbreaks he faced and his eventual romance with wife Sakshi.

Digvijay Deshmukh, who played Sushant’s cricket student in ‘Kai Po Che’, is now a cricketer himself and was bought by Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League auction last year. In an interview with PTI following Sushant’s death, he revealed that he had promised Sushant to meet during the IPL.

“Maine kaha tha jab cricket mein kuch karoonga uske baad hi aake aapse miloonga (I told him that when I would do something valuable in cricket, I would meet him). Since MI picked me at IPL auctions, I thought once IPL starts and I am in Mumbai, I will go and meet him. That won’t happen anymore,” Digvijay said.

Call it the irony of life, in his last film, Sushant counselled his on-screen teenage son, who tried to commit suicide after failing an entrance exam, telling him stories of underdogs.

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