Dhoni fans happy at his inclusion in `Time` top 100 list

Updated: Apr 22, 2011, 20:29 PM IST

Ranchi: Time Magazine naming Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni in its annual list of top 100 most influential people in the world is a moment of joy, Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda said on Friday.

"Congratulations to Dhoni. We are happy to see his name in the Time Magazine`s list. The cricketer continues to make Jharkhand and the country proud with his performance," Munda said in the presence of JMM chief Shibu Soren and two deputy
chief ministers Sudesh Mahto and Hemant Soren here.

Dhoni, ranked 52nd in the `Time` top 100 and was the only Indian sportsperson to make the list, which also included four of his compatriots in Mukesh Ambani (61), VS Ramachandran (79), Azim Premji (88) and Aruna Roy (89).

Dhoni`s former teammates are happy because he is bracketed with Argentine football star Lionel Messi.

"We feel elated to find Dhoni`s name in the famous list. Today we even discussed how Dhoni must be feeling happier to be bracketed along with football star Messi because Dhoni has been a football lover too," said former Ranji cricketer Adil Hussein, under whom Dhoni had played for Central Coalfields Limited in tournaments like Sheesh Mahal trophy.

"Some of us old teammates recalled the early playing days with him and are happy to see Dhoni becoming a sports ambassador for our country," Hussein said.

Chanchal Bhattacharya, who is among the three former coaches of Dhoni during his formative years, said, "Earlier, people referred Ranchi as a town with two mental hospitals. But now that perception has changed with Dhoni making Ranchi popular with his game."

"And his name in Time Magazine is the ultimate recognition of Dhoni`s contribution in making small towns popular," he added.