When the Indian Premier League was started in 2008 by the BCCI, one of the biggest craze was to see which Indian player goes on to represent which franchise. The fact that most of the Indian legends belonged to one of the cities that a franchise came from, it became imperative for that franchise to get that legend on board as an icon player.
This was essential to create direct contact with the fans of the city by getting a local icon on board. While the likes of Tendulkar, Ganguly, Dravid, Sehwag and Yuvraj were all snapped up by the teams that represented the city they belonged to, it left Indian cricket’s rising star Mahendra Singh Dhoni up for grabs.
It is here that former BCCI president, N Srinivasan, who was the owner of Chennai Super Kings, decided to make the biggest gamble and he knows it has paid off in a major way all these years later.
In a recent interview to PTI after Dhoni announced his retirement, Srinivasan revealed how he went about landing Dhoni in the auction for CSK.
“It is a question of arithmetic, at that time Mr Bindra was there, Punjab wanted Yuvraj to play for them, Delhi wanted (Virender) Sehwag to play for then, Mumbai could not imagine a team without Sachin Tendulkar, how could Sachin play for somebody else.
“Therefore, all them said they wanted icons, they had to pay the icon 10 percent than the highest paid player of the team in the auction. So when the bidding went on for Dhoni, I was clear at any price MS Dhoni.
“When it came to USD 1.5 million, I think they realised they would have to pay Sachin USD 1.65 million and Dhoni USD 1.5 million, five million was the purse and sixty per cent of the purse would go to these two players. So they stopped and that’s how we got Dhoni because I said I don’t want an icon,” Srinivasan revealed.
Dhoni has been a huge asset for the team as he has led the team from the front and taken them to three titles. CSK has lost in the final five times and have made it to the knock-outs of all the ten editions that they have been a part of the league.
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