Mumbai: Former India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been an iconic player for Chennai Super Kings right from the first season of the Indian Premier League.
Apart from leading his team to two IPL victories, the Jharkhand cricketer has also led the Chennai franchise to the playoffs in every IPL season, with the only exception being 2016 and 2017, when the team was banned due to spot-fixing.
Former India cricketer VB Chandrasekhar recently recollected acquiring the big-hitting batsman back in the first season of the cash-rich tournament.
He opened up on a conversation between him and N Srinivasan during a discussion on whom to pick.
“Before the auctions in 2008, Mr. N Srinivasan asked me, “Who are you going to pick?” I said Dhoni. He asked, “Why not Virender Sehwag?”
"I said Sehwag would not provide me with the kind of inspiration that the crowd will be looking forward to, whereas Dhoni is a captain, a wicket-keeper and a batsman who can change the match situation on his own. So I asked him if I could look for him,” Chandrasekhar was quoted saying to Sportskeeda.
He further reiterated on how and why CSK finalised on Dhoni.
He said, “I would rather have Sehwag.” But the next day morning, he came and said, “Go get Dhoni.” I had kept an amount of 1.1 million for Dhoni with a total of 5 million to buy the team. However, someone in the auction had kept 1.3 million for him, so I had to reassess as to what I should be doing and how I should buy him. I needed to have the money when he [the other bidder] came to the auction.
“So I increased my amount to 1.4 million and still tried to buy the team because, with a total of 5 million for the entire team, 1.4 million would have gone for Dhoni himself,” he continued.
“But with the auction approaching, someone said that Dhoni would go for 1.8 million. So I told him that if Dhoni would go for anything beyond 1.5 million, I'd let him go because I couldn't let go a team, as then there would have been Dhoni and nobody else.
"Mr. Srnivasan was upset that we couldn't get Dhoni because somewhere he believed that Dhoni was the future and I had convinced him that he was going to be the future youth icon,” he further said.
MS Dhoni was one of the three retained players by CSK during the IPL player retention event earlier this month. The other two cricketers retained were Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja.
During CSK’s ban from the tournament, the 36-year-old had represented Rising Pune Supergiant, helping his team to the final of the tournament in the previous season, where they lost to eventual champions Mumbai Indians.
The much-awaited auctions for the upcoming IPL season is all set to be a promising affair, with the event set to take place in Bengaluru on Saturday and Sunday.
A total of 578 players, including 360 Indians, will go under the hammer during the two-day event....