Team India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni is undoubtedly Jharkhand’s best-known face in national and international sports, but for the National Games Organising Committee (NGOC) the ace cricketer is not good enough to promote the Games. The committee has roped in Bollywood stars Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif to be the faces of the mega event.
According to the NGOC working president R K Anand, Dhoni did not fit the bill since cricket was not an Olympic event. “Therefore we decided to invite the Bollywood stars who can give wide publicity to the event,” he said. However, Anand added that Dhoni was, without doubt, Jharkhand’s pride and that he was always welcome to grace the occasion. “It will be our pleasure. However, we will not pay him any remuneration for that,” the NGOC working president added.
In 2006, Dhoni had stolen the thunder as the virtual showstopper at ‘Run for Jharkhand’. The cricketer’s presence had brought in huge crowds and made the event a roaring success. But the committee decided to ignore the popularity that Mahi enjoys.
“Akashay and Katrina Kaif have been booked for five days and they would promote the cause of the mega event among the general public and business organisations throughout the country. Apart from this, both the Bollywood stars would also perform on stage during the opening and closing ceremony of the Games in Ranchi,” Anand said.
Prominent Indian sports persons like Beijing Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra, wrestler Sushil Kumar, tennis star Sania Mirza, ace pugilist Vijendra Kumar and ace shuttler Saina Nehwal have consented to be a part of the event.
The NGOC working president appealed to the people of the state to work towards the success of the event. Appreciating the infrastructure put in place by the Jharkhand government for the mega show, Anand said that it was the best in India and that such facilities would help the state bag many international events.