The 12th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is just around the corner with the first match of the tournament slated to be played between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Chennai Super Kings. Ever since the tournament became popular, many controversies surrounding fixing and betting have emerged which resulted in Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals being banned for 2016 and 2017 season. The name of MS Dhoni also came in the spot-fixing scandal. However, none of the players was found guilty.

In the recently released documentary ‘Roar of the Lions’ on Hotstar Specials, MS Dhoni spoke about the entire incident and the emotions which he and his team went through. Chennai Super Kings returned in 2018 and started off with a bang and won the tournament for the 3rd time in the history of the tournament.

In the first episode of the 5 part documentary, Dhoni spoke on length about the charges which were levied on him and his team. He also stated that it was the most testing phase of his career and the franchise had to deal with several allegations. MS Dhoni called it the most depressing phase of his career. The 2007 World Cup debacle was one of the lowest points for Dhoni and India. However, the situation in 2013 was equally low but was totally different.

MS Dhoni, Sam Billings, Chennai Super Kings, IPL 2019
Dhoni has been a calming influence for the CSK unit. Photo Credit: BCCI/IPL

Whatever I am today it is because of cricket says MS Dhoni

Former and current players in the franchise like Mike Hussey, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja expressed their shock and despair at the incident. There were allegations hurled on Dhoni as well. However, Dhoni made sure that the off-field happenings didn’t let their on-field performances to dip. He urged his players to not fall prey to the off-field condition.

About his own take on the whole subject, Dhoni said: “Whatever I am today, whatever I have achieved is because of cricket. So the biggest crime that I can commit personally is not murder but match-fixing. It is not something that one person can do alone. If my name is involved in such a thing, it has a bigger impact. If people think a match is fixed based on the improbability of an outcome, then people lose their faith in cricket. I don’t think ever in my life I would deal with something that is harder than this.”

The two franchises were suspended for a couple of years. Dhoni stated that he was not sure that why the players were blamed as no fault with the players were found. Instead, it was the owners who had played the spoilsport.

Chennai Super Kings, MS Dhoni, Yo-Yo Test
Chennai Super Kings. (Credits – BCCI)

“It was a mixed feeling then because you take a lot of things personally and, as a captain, question what did the team do wrong. Yes there was wrongdoing but were players or team members involved in this? What mistake did we make that we have to go through all of that?” he asked.

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