Indian Super League side Chennaiyin FC have announced that Indian cricket captain MS Dhoni has become one of their co-owners.
The 33-year-old wicketkeeper/batsman, who plays for the Chennai Super Kings in the IPL, joins the likes of Sourav Ganguly (Atletico De Kolkata), Sachin Tendulkar (Kerala Blasters) and Virat Kohli (FC Goa) to invest in an ISL side ahead of the inaugural season, which kicks off on 12 October.
Chennaiyin FC's other co-owner Mrs Vita Dani made the announcement on Monday.
"It is an absolute honour to have the legendary MS Dhoni as one of the co-owners of our franchise, Chennaiyin FC," Dani told ISL's official website.
"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!"
Dhoni also expressed his delight at having become one of the co-owners of Chennayin FC, saying that he always enjoyed playing football when he was in school.
"I used to be a goalkeeper in school and always enjoy playing and watching the game," Dhoni told ISL's official website.
"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 further added that apart from just aiming to win trophies, Chennaiyin FC will be looking to developing local talent, with a view of improving the overall football scene of the country.
"Our vision will be to win trophies, but more than that to develop talent and help the Indian players to learn under established international players. Grassroots level football and sports in India is lacking and that is something we shall address," Dhoni told Goal.
"Football used to be a popular sport once upon a time and is supported in pockets still. But the younger generation who watch the EPL (English Premier League), La Liga, Champions League, they will be made aware of something more domestic."
Chennaiyin FC start their ISL campaign with an away game against FC Goa at the Fatorda Stadium on 15 October.