Chennai: After the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli, Indian cricket team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has become the latest cricketer to own a football team in the high-profile Indian Super League (ISL), investing in the Chennaiyin FC ahead of the event starting 12 October.

Dhoni has pencilled a deal to be a co-owner of Chennaiyin FC along with Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan.

Dhoni was excited to be a part of ISL as he is also passionate about football.

“I used to be a goalkeeper in school and always enjoy playing and watching the game. I wanted to be associated with football so when the opportunity came to be a part of Chennaiyin FC I was ecstatic as this gives me a chance to connect with the city of Chennai again. I have played franchise cricket for this city so I know how supportive they are," Dhoni stated.

He added, “I am sure all the players of Chennaiyin FC will see how much love Chennai gives to their players. The Hero Indian Super League is a fantastic platform for football to grow with so many big names, IMG-Reliance and Star India associated with it. I look forward to an exciting season ahead but at the same time it’s important that we develop the grassroots level and produce more football stars in India."

Last month, Dhoni’s deputy in the Indian cricket team was announced as co-owner of ISL team FC Goa. Tendulkar is a co-owner of Kerala Blasters while ex-cricket captain Sourav Ganguly is a co-owner of Atletico de Kolkata.

The announcement was made by Chennaiyin FC co-owner Vita Dani.

“It is an absolute honour to have the legendary MS Dhoni as one of the co-owners of our franchise, Chennaiyin FC. Mahi has a strong association with the people of Chennai and so with him coming on board, we take another giant step towards achieving the goal of creating a world class football club in Chennai. Vanakkam Mahi!"

Chennaiyin FC starts their ISL campaign with an away game against FC Goa on 15 October while their first home fixture is against Kerala Blasters on 21 October. PTI