Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Former Chennai Super Kings chief selector and Director of Cricket Operations VB Chandrasekhar has revealed that the franchise had no interest in purchasing ex-India captain MS Dhoni during the 2008 Indian Premier League (IPL) auction.
Delving deeper into the details of what transpired, Chandrasekhar pointed out that Super Kings co-owner and former BCCI president N Srinivasan didn’t want Dhoni in the side as he was determined to buy former India opener Virender Sehwag.
“Before the auction in 2008, Mr. N Srinivasan asked me, ‘Who are you going to pick?’ I said Dhoni. He asked, ‘Why not Virender Sehwag?’,” Chandrasekhar said on The Super Kings Show as quoted by CricTracker. “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.”
During the 2008 IPL auction, each team were given a purse of US$5 million. When Dhoni’s name came up, he attracted interest from all the franchises, but the Super Kings ended up securing his services for US$1.5 million.
However, prior to the auction, Chandrasekhar revealed that he had been told Dhoni would fetch a larger amount of money. Had that been the case, he conceded that the Super Kings may have dropped out of the bidding war.
“With the auction approaching, someone said that Dhoni would go for 1.8 million,” Chandrasekhar said. “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 of a team, as then there would have been Dhoni and nobody else.
“Mr. Srinivasan 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.”
Dhoni will once again represent the Super Kings in this year’s IPL as the franchise returned following a two-year suspension. The Super Kings retained Dhoni prior to the auction for a whopping INR 15 crores.