Dhoni more marketable than Nadal, Bryant

Brand MS Dhoni has become the numero uno choice for those who want to boost their brands in South East Asia Getty Images

London: May 19, 2011

Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has pipped the likes of tennis superstar Rafael Nadal and iconic basketball player Kobe Bryant to be among 10 most marketable sportspersons in the world, according to the SportsPro magazine.

Dhoni, who hit the winning runs in the ICC World Cup and led the Chennai Super Kings to the 2010 Indian Premier League (IPL) title, is 10th on the list.

The top spot goes to Jamaican sprint king Usain Bolt and includes footballing sensations Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi at third and fourth respectively.

Dhoni’s teammate Yuvraj Singh also makes the list — at the 49th spot — after being named player of the tournament at this year’s World Cup.

Chinese basketball superstar Yao Ming makes the top 20 at 11th despite consistent injury problems.

“MS Dhoni’s marketability has reached another new high in India in the aftermath of the cricket World Cup. Although he will never attain quite the Messianic status that Sachin Tendulkar has with the Indian population, Dhoni has undeniably become the number one choice for those looking to boost their brand in the south-eastern Asian country,” SportsPro editor David Cushnan said.

The only female in the top ten is ninth-placed Caroline Wozniacki, who reached the top of the world rankings in 2010 despite not having won a Grand Slam.