Dhoni visits Ranchi to keep his date with National Games

Ranchi, Feb 20 (PTI) The World Cup fever might be at itspeak but star son of Ranchi, Mahendra Singh Dhoni kept hisdate with the 34th National Games here when he made a flyingvisit to his home town despite the busy schedule.

A day after launching India''s World Cup campaign with aconvincing 87-run victory over Bangladesh, captain Dhoni todayflew down to Ranchi via Kolkata to keep his promise to witnessthe National Games for at least one day.

Sporting a brown colour jacket, a grey cap and jeans,Dhoni spent more than half-an hour at the athletics venue asthe day saw the entire Ranchi turned out on a cloudy Sundayevening.

Dhoni expressed his gratitude to the BCCI and ICC forgranting him a day''s permission to visit the Games during thebusy schedules of the World Cup.

"I am really grateful to the BCCI and ICC for giving meone day''s permission. I had requested them and it''s nice thatthey considered and let me come here. I feel very happy to behere and nice to see the National Games going on with fullswing," Dhoni told reporters.

The Indian skipper took the centrestage when hedistributed medals to the winners in the men''s 400m hurdlesevent and exchanged pleasantries with the athletes.

Earlier in the afternoon, he made a visit to the BirsaMunda Football Stadium in Morhabadi during the halftime of theGoa vs Jharkhand preliminary round match.

Accompanied by deputy chief minister and sports ministerSudesh Mahto, Dhoni entered the Mohrabadi stadium around3:30pm as he went on to spend around 30 minutes with loudcheers from the packed house.

He is scheduled to leave for Bangalore early morningtomorrow.

India next play England in their second World Cup fixturein Bangalore on February 26.

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