A file photo of India captain Virat Kohli. Photo: Reuters
A file photo of India captain Virat Kohli. Photo: Reuters

Virat Kohli, M.S. Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina in list of top 100 athletes

Virat Kohli is placed in the 13th spot, M.S. Dhoni in 15th, Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina have been ranked 90th and 95th respectively in the ESPN World Fame 100 list

Mumbai: India captain Virat Kohli, former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and stylish left-handed batsmen, Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina, have found place in this year’s ESPN World Fame 100 list that made its debut last year.

While Kohli is placed in 13th spot and Dhoni in15th, Yuvraj and Raina have been ranked 90th and 95th respectively, said a media release in Mumbai on Wednesday. The list is ESPN’s ranking of the 100 most famous active athletes in the world.

Heading the list is top Portuguese footballer Christiano Ronaldo while NBA great Lebron James, football star Lionel Messi and tennis ace Roger Federer are the top four athletes, in that order. The others in the top ten are: Phil Mickelson, Neymar, Usain Bolt, Kevin Durant, Rafael Nadal and Tiger Woods.

The ranking is based on a formula devised by ESPN director of sports analytics Ben Alamar, which combines endorsements, social media reach and other data to create a comparative ranking system, the media release explained. In February, 28-year-old Kohli joined the likes of Bolt, Rickie Fowler and Thierry Henry as a Puma endorser and his eight-year deal with the shoe company is worth more than Rs100 crore, the largest ever for an Indian athlete, the release said.

As part of the overall package ESPN The Magazine will dedicate an entire issue to World Fame 100, including features on some athletes, notably Yuvraj, and it’s slated to hit news stands in the US on 2 June, the release said. After beating a rare form of lung cancer, Yuvraj has given fans someone to look up to when things get tough. In 2015, he launched the YouWeCan foundation to fight cancer.

Among others to be featured likewise are 18-time Grand Slam men’s singles champion Federer, Real Madrid superstar, Ronaldo, biggest draw in athletics, Bolt, NBA star, Kevin Durant, swimming ace, Ryan Lochte, and Formula One driver, Lewis Hamilton.