Crowds throng to Ranchi stadium to see Dhoni

Last Updated 19 January 2013, 11:07 IST

It was a full house here at the newly-constructed JSCA International Stadium as thousands thronged in to see their local hero and India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the third One-Day International (ODI) against England.

The match, already making front pages of the newspapers here, received excellent response from the fans as almost every seat was filled in the 39,000 capacity facility.

There was a huge cheer from the crowd as Dhoni walked out for the toss with England skipper Alastair Cook before noon followed by chants of "Dhoni! Dhoni!"

"We are expecting a lot from Dhoni. It is because of him this stadium has been built. I do not think we would have been seeing an international cricket match in Ranchi had it not been for Dhoni," said a cricket enthusiast Mohammed Ashraf, who bought four tickets worth Rs.10,000 each for his family.

Prasadananda Jha, another cricket fan, also said that Dhoni’s rise had led to popularity of the sport in Jharkhand.

“The frenzy for cricket has grown here only because of Dhoni. To be honest, I am a fan of cricket but I am a bigger fan of Dhoni,” said Jha.

This is the first international cricket match being held here in the state capital.

The stadium was inaugurated by Jharkhand governor Syed Ahmed, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Dhoni, along with several other dignitaries, here Friday.

(Published 19 January 2013, 11:07 IST)

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