The IPL was conceptualised at a time when T20 cricket was flourishing all around the world.
To everyone’s surprise, an inexperienced Indian side, led by MS Dhoni, had won the inaugural T20 World Cup. India had taken well to the T20 format, something that was essential for the format to develop, keeping BCCI’s authority in deciding world cricket matters in mind.
MS Dhoni’s career as a captain and as a maverick limited overs players was on the rise, and it was only fair to assume that he would have received the highest bid. And that any franchise who would buy him, would be under very, very safe hands.
CSK ended up going for him, and haven’t regretted it one bit. But it wasn’t what the CSK owners had initially planned, as N Srinivasan wanted to have a look at Virender Sehwag instead of MS Dhoni.
The CSK Chief selector, VB Chandrasekhar, has opened up on how he brought MS Dhoni to CSK.
“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 [he was new as India’s limited-overs captain then], 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 spoke about his conversation with N Srinivasan.
“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 added.
He then spoke about how he had convinced Srinivasan to go all out for Dhoni, as he was certain that Dhoni would become a youth icon in the years to come.
“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,” Chandrasekhar further added.
“Mr. Srinivasan then called me and asked, “What do you think [about the price]?” I told him that I would buy him for 1.8 million. But during the auction on the next day, it turned out that Dhoni went for 1.5 million, which was the highest amount paid for an Indian cricketer then.” he concluded.
CSK returns to the IPL after two years of suspension, and they have retained MS Dhoni along with Raina and Jadeja before the mega IPL auction, which is set to be help tomorrow and the day after.