N Srinivasan Was Against Buying MS Dhoni as First CSK Player in IPL 2008 Auction
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) is one of the most successful teams since the beginning of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2008. No team was even close to posing a threat to CSK in the first half of the season as they toyed the opposition teams with relative ease. After being roped in as the skipper, MS Dhoni changed the overall complexion of the team and led CSK to three IPL titles.
Dhoni is one of the very few cricketers who is attached to the same franchise since the inception of the IPL. It is literally impossible to imagine CSK without MS Dhoni. Much to everyone’s surprise, Dhoni was not even the first-choice starter for the yellow brigade during the inaugural IPL auction.
N Srinivasan wanted Virender Sehwag instead of MS Dhoni: Chandrasekhar
Former Indian cricketer VB Chandrasekhar, who was CSK’s chief selector and director of cricket operations in 2008, had revealed in an interview that N Srinivasan was completely against the idea of drafting in Dhoni as CSK’s first player and rather wanted Virender Sehwag in the first place.
“Before the auctions in 2008, Mr N Srinivasan asked me, “Who are you going to pick?” I said Dhoni. 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, 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 told Sportskeeda.
Chandrashekhar further added how Srinivasan later reversed his decision. N Srinivasan said, “I would rather have Sehwag.” However, the next day morning, he came and said, “Go get Dhoni.”
Interestingly, Dhoni was bought for a staggering 1.5 million by CSK during IPL 2008. In fact, the franchise was not in a position to afford the Dhoni if the other franchises went for an intense bidding war.
“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.
“But with the auction approaching, someone said that Dhoni would go for 1.8 million. So I told him that 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 Srinivasan 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.
As of now, the former Indian captain is on a sabbatical from international cricket ever since India’s exit from the ICC World Cup 2019, held in England.
Dhoni made himself unavailable for Indian national cricket team selection since then. However, he will eventually return to cricketing action for the upcoming edition of the IPL.
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