Image courtesy of: The Advertiser
A local court in Anantapur, which is a district in Andhra Pradesh, has issued a non-bailable warrant against India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
The warrant relates to a magazine cover published in April 2013, which had a picture of Dhoni endorsing a number of products in the form of a sacred Hindu deity. The headline of the magazine read “God of big deals”.
The court has requested that Dhoni make an appearance on February 25 even though India have a packed schedule, which will see them tour Australia for a limited overs series until January 31. They will then host Sri Lanka for three Twenty20 Internationals before heading to Bangladesh for the Asia Cup T20 tournament. After that, they will return home to host the 2016 World Twenty20 in March.
The court issued a warrant against Dhoni following a petition filed by a local Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Shyam Sunder, who believes that the Indian captain’s picture on the magazine cover “hurt Hindu sentiments”.
“I had gone to court as the picture hurt Hindu sentiments,” Sunder said.
However, Dhoni’s management have made it clear that he didn’t pose for the picture and nor did he have any idea it was being published.
“Neither did he pose for the picture, nor were we aware of such a picture being published,” Rhiti Sports’ Arun Pandey told ESPNcricinfo.