Just before the release of ‘M.S. Dhoni : The Untold Story’, the makers of the film have decided to delete the names of three star Indian players from a crucial scene.
Ever since the trailer was released on 11th August, there was a buzz about the scene where Sushant Singh Rajput, playing MS Dhoni, is being lambasted by selectors for ruthlessly asking for the axing of three senior cricketers from the Indian squad.
“Yeh teenon ko nikaalke rukne wala nahin hai (He won’t stop at dropping these three alone),” says a selector in the film, to which Dhoni responds over a video call, “We’re all servants, and we’re all doing national duty.”
The line that follows in the original version of the movie names the three said Indian players, who sources told Mid-Day are VVS Laxman, Saurav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid.
Now, just within few days ahead of the movie release, the filmmakers have self-censored the lines directly referring to the names of the cricketers from the final edit of the biopic, the sources added.
The director of the movie Neeraj Pandey also told Mid-Day, “The sequence from the promo is very much there in the movie. All we have done is knock off names of the three cricketers who were mentioned. This is as per the original plan, discussed with Dhoni a year and half ago, where we had decided to shoot the scene with the names, yes, but take a call on this only in the final edit.”
The reason behind this decision, as Pandey put forward, is to desist from “unnecessarily ruffling feathers, when that is not the intention or tone of the movie.”
When he was asked to name the cricketers who were mentioned in the original version, Pandey laughed and said, “Are you seriously asking me that question? Obviously I can’t. That would be highly disrespectful of me to do.”
Dhoni, incidentally, watched the first cut of his biopic last month. What did he think of it?
“Well he just sat in silence for 10 minutes, didn’t speak a word. It was quite an awkward feeling for him, watching his own self, being played by an actor, on the big screen,” Pandey added.
Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman were dropped from the Indian one-day team for the 2008 Commonwealth Bank Series down under, even as they were set to play the crucial fourth Test against Australia under Anil Kumble‘s leadership.
The selectors and limited overs captain Dhoni, who debuted under Ganguly in ODIs and Dravid in Tests, came under criticism for the axing of the three senior players, that too before the fourth Test was played. While Dravid and Laxman had been out of contention in white ball cricket for some time then, Ganguly’s exclusion became a hot-button issue at the time. The BCCI had to field the then Secretary Niranjan Shah to justify the decision.
“The emphasis was on fielding abilities and the team management wanted a young fielding side for the series,” Shah had told the press.
Information Source : Mid-Day