“Virat Kohli is the best-dressed cricketer,” says Shikhar Dhawan, who has a finger in every pie from show business to entrepreneurship



Shikhar Dhawan has been caught in a vitriolic storm due to his turbulent personal life. When you are in the public eye, many things are written about you which are unflattering, especially when intimate relationships go sour.

After a painful divorce from his Australia-based ex-wife Ayesha Mukherjee, many of his former peers have commented on his mental and physical condition. When Harbhajan Singh came as a guest on JioCinema’s TV show ‘Dhawan Karenge With Shikhar Dhawan’, he mentioned how “the star opener would not take of himself and video chat with her for almost 18 hours a day,”

Shikhar-Ayesha met online, on social media. She was 10 years older than him, previously married and divorced. The cricketer’s father was against the union, while his mom seemed to support Dhawan’s decision. The couple have a son, Zoravar, together. The cricketer has openly spoken about not being able to meet his 10-year-old for a long time, and is struggling to get his health back too. Dhawan was to play IPL 2024, but watched matches from the bench. The talented cricketer also fielded rumours about his marrying Mithali Raj, the former Indian women’s cricket team captain, and said the speculation was “incorrect”.

The 38-year-old cricketer’s show on JioCinema seems to be a hit — and he funnily recreates Akshay Kumar’s dialogues, “Don’t angry me,” and then decides to break into a jig with Taapsee Pannu, as well as Bhuvan Bam, the content creator-turned-actor. He often thumps his thighs, dons leather jackets, and can be seen with beaming solitaires in his ears. He wears a range of top brands – True Religion tees with horseshoe motif, Versace, and Louis Vuitton epi print jackets.

He has also turned brand ambassador for Que, an eyewear brand. “The partnership came about quite naturally. As someone who values style and quality, I was immediately drawn to their mission of providing premium, stylish eyewear at accessible prices. When I met the founders, Shashank Saurabh, Abhishek Deep, and Kumar Vagish, I was impressed by their vision and passion,” says Dhawan. They recognized a gap in the market for high-quality, fashionable sunglasses that are affordable. “Their commitment to redefining the eyewear industry resonated with me, and I saw a great opportunity to be a part of something innovative and impactful,” says Dhawan, who is known to love fashion, and walked for designer Samant Chauhan at the Lakme Fashion Week, four years ago.

Dhawan has been seen in Gucci, one of his favourite brands, a denim jacket as well as the Bvlgari bracelet (Italian luxury fashion brand Bvlgari has launched the kada, priced ₹12 lakhs). Plus, his Christopher Backpack, from Louis Vuitton, designed by Virgil Abloh, retails for about $4,100. His net worth according to DNA is $13 million, ($96 crore approximately). Dhawan is seen wearing Balenciaga, run by Russian designer Demna Gvasalia, and zipping around in a BMW M8 Coupe, priced ₹2.23 crore. “Personally, I have a diverse collection of eyewear that reflects my taste for both classic and contemporary styles. I appreciate minimalist designs with clean lines as well as bold, statement pieces that add a unique touch to my look,” Dhawan reveals.

“Fashion, to me, is an extension of one’s personality. It is a way to express who you are without having to say a word. I am deeply interested in fitness and wellness. Staying fit and leading a healthy lifestyle is something I prioritize, both on and off the field. Additionally, I am passionate about music, and travel as they provide new perspectives and inspiration. I believe that a well-rounded lifestyle enriches your sense of style and overall outlook on life,” he adds.

If you ask him who is the best-dressed cricketer, Dhawan promptly says, Virat Kohli. “He has a great sense of style, looking sharp in suits and casual outfits as well. On or off the field, he consistently dresses well, making him my top pick,” says Dhawan, who began training at Sonnet Cricket Club in New Delhi, along with Tarak Sinha. He was just 12 years old then and joined the team as a wicketkeeper.

After he was seen with actor Aamir Khan on the set of his upcoming production, Sitaare Zameen Par, Dhawan refutes the claim that he will be acting in it. He has, however, been open about wanting to work in a two-hero film with Akshay Kumar, being a big fan of the sportsman regimen, ingrained in the star’s daily workouts.

When asked what is the defining moment of his life in terms of professional challenges, and how he overcame them, Dhawan, whose career began in 1999, says, “Whether it was a tricky project or a setback, I stayed focused, leaned on my team, and kept moving forward. Conquering those obstacles made me even more determined to succeed. My advice to budding cricketers is simple: never stop learning, never stop practising, and never stop believing in yourself. Stay dedicated to honing your skills, but also remember to enjoy the game and cherish every moment on the field. Stay humble in victory, and always respect your teammates and opponents alike. Above all, trust in your abilities and never give up on your dreams.”

The now TV host is fondly known as the “Gabbar” of the Indian cricket team.

A self-confessed movie buff, Dhawan starred in Double XL and admits, acting in movies “was an adventure”. “As for forthcoming projects, well, let us just say there are a few surprises in store! My experience in films has been a wild ride and getting to see the magic of filmmaking up close. It has been a blast,” confesses the left-handed batter and right arm bowler.

Dhawan made history by becoming the first ever IPL player to score two consecutive centuries. He belongs to a Punjabi family from Delhi, with roots in Ludhiana. He also runs the Shikhar Dhawan Foundation (SDF), which aims to uplift communities, focussing on youth to create a sustainable impact.

Dhawan elaborates on the work they do. “In recent initiatives, we have been working towards uplifting the education model for marginalized communities via various programmes on scholarship, vocational training, distribution of smart devices to support e-learning, and providing K12 software. All of this is to bring the education level on a par with community institutions, besides providing EdTech infrastructure. Granting aid in the right manner paves the way for change that lasts a lifetime and that is our belief at SDF,” says Dhawan. – Asmita Aggarwal is fashion & lifestyle editor of nrifocus.com



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