Former BCCI president N. Srinivasan has expressed full confidence that the Chennai Super Kings (CSK), will maintain the same level of authority in the IPL as they used to have before being suspended.

The Chennai-based franchise along with Rajasthan Royals was suspended for two years in the backdrop of the IPL betting case in 2015. CSK’s two-year suspension ending later in the year and they will be again a part of the league from the 11th edition.

“M.S. Dhoni, wearing yellow and leading the CSK team onto the ground and come 2018 there is every possibility of it happening. We will be back with a bang.”

In 2014, Srinivasan found himself in a sticky situation when the Supreme Court issued an ultimatum to the BCCI notifying that Srinivasan, the then president of the board, should either step down from the position or be removed from his position due to a case of conflict of interest.

BCCI regulation, Clause 6.2.4 stated that “No administrator could have, directly or indirectly, any commercial interest in the matches or events conducted by the board.”

However, Srinivasan, who was the treasurer of the BCCI in 2008, revealed at the event that he took the step after consulting with the IPL chairman and BCCI president Sharad Pawar.

“We received an invitation from the then chairman of IPL (Lalit Modi) asking whether India Cements would bid. So I took this letter and wrote to the then BCCI president Mr (Sharad) Pawar asking if we can bid, since I was the BCCI treasurer and MD and promoter of India Cements. In the many controversies that surrounded CSK later, although everyone knew this story they chose to ignore it.”

He added,

“I get a reply from Mr Pawar, saying that ‘I have consulted all my colleagues and there is no bar on India Cements taking the tender and bidding for an IPL team’. This was in writing and following all due processes, the BCCI was asked and we went ahead.”

Srinivasan spoke about stubborn decision to get M.S. Dhoni in his team as a process of building a strong team and highly marketable brand around it.

“Before the first auction, we told the group that was sitting there to get Dhoni at any price. Though people criticize CSK and make allegations, its followers have only grown. The proof is wherever I go, thanks to the power of CSK, there is not a single place where people don’t want to come and take a selfie with me. How did we get there? The first truly game-changing decision was to get Dhoni on board. He had won the World T20 in 2007 in his own style, and was different from the others.”

Elaborating on the growth of Brand CSK, the 72-year old said,

“An aura developed around the team because of its performance and its captain who was growing in stature. He adopted the city and vice-versa.

“The Tamil anthem, the colour yellow, the ‘whistle podu’ song, along with Dhoni, helped build the CSK brand. We have not been part of the IPL for two years, but that has not affected the brand one bit.”

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