Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the India cricket captain, has bought into the Ranchi Hockey India League franchise. He is now the co-owner of the Ranchi franchise along with Sahara Adventure Sports Limited. The team that was formerly known as the Ranchi Rhinos will now be known as the Ranchi Rays.
The takeover of the Ranchi Rhinos came after the team was scrapped because of distrust between the owners of the team and Hockey India. The previous owners were Patel-PS Group and Uniexcel Group.
Dhoni is pleased both with the fact that Ranchi Rhinos has played well recently, and the fact that the team is from his own city. He said: “It is a special day for me as I own the new HIL team of my city, Ranchi Rays, for the promotion of the sport which is very popular in Jharkhand. I feel good while promoting other sports as well. Other reasons for owning this team is Ranchi played very well in the past two seasons.”
Dhoni further noted that hockey needs good infrastructure, good leadership, and a concerted effort in the development of the sport at the grass-roots level. By doing this, those that have talent will get the chance to be spotted.
It is hoped that since the team has played very well over the past two years that some of the players will be retained for the Ranchi Rays team. Most of the team will be made up of players from the auction
Dhoni now owns part of the Indian Super Leaue football team, Chennayin FC, the hockey team, and also the Mahi Racing Team India. He commented that while his first commitment in the sporting world is cricket, he feels that it is important to promote all sports and is certainly showing his support across the range of sports in India.