MS Dhoni- N. Srinivasan, a Relationship To Die For?
Indian Premier League, Chennai Super Kings and MS Dhoni; it is almost impossible to separate these three words from each other. One more name that goes with above three is former BCCI president N Srinivasan. N. Srinivasan and MS Dhoni shared a bond almost comparable as a father-son relation. Srinivasan owned the widely followed Chennai Super Kings franchise in the controversial Indian Premier League. But 2013, turned out to be the turning point for MS Dhoni, Srinivasan and CSK.
The matching fixing probe that came out in 2013 accused of protecting N. Srinivasan’s son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan, who was later arrested in a betting case. Meiyappan was usually seen in the CSK dugout during their matches. Dhoni was also the vice president of Srinivasan’s company India Cements which later led to the accusation of ‘conflict of interest’.
Dhoni was accused of not revealing the truth to the probe panel about the entire betting scandal. Dhoni said:
‘Let me tell you, it is an absolute lie that I told a probe panel that Meiyappan was only a cricket enthusiast, all I said is he had nothing to do with the team’s on-field cricketing decisions. I can’t even pronounce the word “enthusiast”.’
In 2015, a supreme court appointed committee suspended CSK form IPL for two years and Meiyappan banned for life from any involvement in cricket matches.
Dhoni also defended his relationship with former president N. Srinivasan and claimed that Srinivasan was a true supporter of Indian cricket:
‘I really don’t care what people say, I found Srinivasan as someone who was always there to help cricketers.’
Their relation majorly blossomed during the IPL days and Dhoni became a sensation in South India:
‘It was a bit like those Hindi films, boy from north meets girl from south and falls in love,’ said Dhoni.
Srinivasan also shared his views on his relationship with Dhoni and what he meant to the people of Chennai:
‘The people of Chennai are serious cricket followers. Dhoni embraced our cricket culture so readily he really was the fulcrum of our team’s success. We gifted him a bike when he joined CSK and he would take it for a spin, stop at traffic lights and just smile at passers-by.’
According to former chief of selectors, Mohinder Amarnath, it was N. Srinivasan who shielded Dhoni of being dropped as the Indian captain in 2012:
‘We were told that the board president and not the selectors will decide who the India captain is,’ said Amarnath.
To which former president said:
‘Yes, it is true that I vetoed the decision to drop Dhoni as captain. How can you drop someone as captain within a year of his lifting the World Cup? ‘What you call favouritism I say is my respect for a top class cricketer’s achievements.’
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