MS Dhoni’s name has become synonymous with Chennai Super Kings in IPL. He has played for the franchise for 8 years before the franchise was banned for two years. Now that CSK are back in the IPL, the first thing they did was to retain MS Dhoni for IPL 2018.
MS Dhoni was the most expensive player bought in the very first IPL auction in 2008. Former India batsman and Chennai Super Kings' chief selector and director of cricket operations VB Chandrasekhar revealed how MS Dhoni was brought into the CSK fold.
Chandrasekhar revealed that N. Srinivasan wanted to pick Virender Sehwag in the auctions, but he had to convince him to buy MS Dhoni. Chandrasekhar said, “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 [he was new as India's limited-overs captain then], 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.”
He further recalls,” Srinivasan said, “Go get Dhoni.” I had kept an amount of 1.1 million for Dhoni with a total of 5 million to buy the team. However, someone in the auction had kept 1.3 million for him, so I had to reassess as to what I should be doing and how I should buy him. I needed to have the money when he [the other bidder] came to the auction. 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.”
“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. Srnivasan 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,” reminisces Chandrasekhar.
Finally Chandrasekhar says, “Mr. Srinivasan then called me and asked, “What do you think [about the price]?” I told him that I would buy him for 1.8 million. But during the auction on the next day, it turned out that Dhoni went for 1.5 million, which was the highest amount paid for an Indian cricketer then.”