New Delhi: A local court in Andhra Pradesh’s district of Anantapur has issued a non-bailable warrant against India’s limited-overs captain MS Dhoni. The case relates to a morphed picture of Dhoni that appeared on the cover of a magazine in April 2013, which depicted him as a Hindu deity endorsing a lot of products, including a shoe. The headline said, “God of big deals.”
The court has now asked Dhoni to appear before it before February 25. Dhoni will be in Australia until January 31 for an ODI and T20I series, after which India are scheduled to host Sri Lanka for three T20s and also travel to Bangladesh for Asia Cup T20. In March, India will play the World T20.
The summons is a result of the petition filed by a local Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Shyam Sunder, who saw the portrayal of Dhoni as the deity as hurtful to Hindu sentiments. “I had gone to court as the picture hurt Hindu sentiments,” Sunder told TV channels in Anantapur.
Dhoni’s management, though, said that Dhoni had nothing to do with the picture. “Neither did he pose for the picture, nor were we aware of such a picture being published,” Rhiti Sports’ Arun Pandey told ESPNcricinfo.