Dhonis bat goes for 100,000 pounds at charity auction

London: Mahendra Singh Dhoni`s bat, with which the Indian cricket captain struck a historic World Cup winning knock earlier this year, fetched a whopping 100,000 pounds in an auction for his charitable foundation.

Dhoni made 91 with the sold bat in the final of the mega-event in April.

At the auction which raised 450,000 pounds, Sacha Jafri`s Original Artwork also went under the hammer.

Jafri, one of the most celebrated artists of the world, was commissioned to create the official painting to commemorate Dhoni`s historic World Cup winning team as well as the unprecedented achievements of "arguably the greatest batsman of all time" – Sachin Tendulkar.

The painting, which includes hand-prints and signatures from some of the games` greatest players including the likes of Ricky Ponting, Andrew Flintoff, Allan Border and Lasith Malinga, went for 250,000 pounds.

A bound copy of the original script of Bollywood blockbuster `3 Idiots` went for 17,500 pounds.

With this, Dhoni launched his charitable foundation, `Winning Ways Today for Tomorrow`, at the function.

Dhoni said the charity was already launched in India in March last year and has helped cricket flourish in areas where children hail from poor socio-economic backgrounds.

"The charity will look to continue its dedication to improving children`s accessibility to cricket by building a sports academy where children will be able to develop their talents across a whole range of disciplines," he said.

Citing his own example, Dhoni said he was 18 when in 1999-2000, he was approached by a Public Sector Undertaking and provided with three new cricket balls, bat and pad.

"That helped me groom. In just four years, there was change in me because of the infrastructure," he said.

He said the new sports academy in Ranchi for which the Jharkhand government has allocated a plot of land, will enable children of all backgrounds to hone their skills.

"There are also plans for a housing complex to be built next to the academy which would serve as accommodation for students and staff working at the academy.

Earlier in a panel discussion with former India captain Ravi Shastri, Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, said, "The best moment of my life was when we beat Pakistan to qualify for the semifinal."

Asked about his next target, Harbhajan, who has taken 400 Test wickets, said "Hopefully I will take another 400 wickets."