MS Dhoni is set to ply his trade in IPL for new franchise
Indian captain MS Dhoni is all set to ply his trade in IPL even after Chennai Super Kings was suspended for two years by BCCI. MS Dhoni’s name and the Chennai-based IPL franchise were virtually synonymous. Former BCCI president N.Srinivasan owned CSK bought for the price of $1.5 million in the inaugural IPL auction in January 2008.
Dhoni led Chennai Super Kings have won the trophy twice in the last eight editions, a record yet to be broken in the cash-rich league.
Notwithstanding, there was so much talk over Dhoni stand on the CSK’s suspension matter. Earlier, it was known that Dhoni might skip playing IPL due to CSK’s suspension. But, it is now learnt that Dhoni has expressed his desire to join another franchise.
“Dhoni will definitely feature in the IPL for a new team. There is absolutely no pressure from CSK to stop him and the next edition of the IPL will see him in action,” a close confidant of Dhoni told a national daily. “He (Dhoni) is the Indian captain in ODIs and T20. How can he not play in an important event like the IPL?” the source said.
BCCI yet to release new tenders for two new franchises for the next IPL. But, it is certain that Dhoni will be the No.1 target for both the new franchises owing to his brand value and match winning abilities in T20 cricket.
There is a possibility of six players from the banned teams CSK and Rajasthan Royals being inducted into the new franchises while the rest are likely to go into the auction pool.
However, if Dhoni continues playing, then there could always be the chance of CSK to buy him back. “We won’t say Dhoni’s association with CSK is over, but for now, he will play for some other team,” the source added. The IPL will be played right after the World T20 in India scheduled in the next year. There is bound to be massive interest around the two new teas that will enter the fray. Dhoni, who donned the yellow jersey of CSK Dhoni, who has always been identified with the canary jersey of CSK, will now sport a different colour. That itself will add to the excitement.
Meanwhile, Dhoni, who flew out of Chennai on Friday for the final ODI in Mumbai, met the former BCCI president N Srinivasan “in a strictly personal capacity”.
“Dhoni’s flight to Mumbai was at 1:30 pm. He knows us for years and called up Mr Srinivasan and came down to have masala dosa for breakfast,” the source added. Apparently CSK was not discussed at the meeting. “It was all very personal. They spoke about Dhoni’s daughter, his business, and so many other things. Dhoni has always had a very good relationship with Srinivasan and it’s obvious that he will come and meet him if he is in Chennai,” the source added.
Criticism flew thick and high in some quarters as Dhoni met tainted ICC Chairman N. Srinivasan, but the India cements bosses laughed it off. “Those who are criticizing Dhoni for meeting Srinivasan should also know that he is also the vice-president of the company. Isn’t it natural that he will meet the managing director of the same company if he is in the city?” the official said.