As M S Dhoni buys stake in Rhiti Sports, R P Singh denies linkage

Written by Agencies | New Delhi | Updated: Jun 4 2013, 00:21am hrs
MS DhoniIndian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has reportedly bought a 15 per cent stake in sports marketing firm Rhiti Sports.
Indian captain M S Dhoni has bought a 15 per cent stake in the sports marketing firm Rhiti Sports, according to a newspaper report today. This has raised questions of a possible conflict of interest as Rhiti Sports manages R P Singh, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja and Pragyan Ojha.

Interestingly, 2 of these players are part of the same IPL franchise, the Chennai Super Kings (CSK), which is also captained by Dhoni. Pacer R P Singh, however, denied being managed by Rhiti.

"Don't know what exactly is running in the news but just to clarify I am not with Rhiti Sports," tweeted R P Singh after the report came out.

R P Singh has played 14 Tests and 58 ODIs for India. He has taken 40 wickets in the longer format and has 69 scalps in the one-dayers.

He has been out of favour for some time and has not played a Test or ODI since 2011.

Rhiti Sports is owned by Arun Pandey, a close friend of Dhoni. In 2010, Dhoni signed up with Rhiti reportedly for Rs 210 crore, an average of Rs 70 crore a year, the costliest deal in Indian cricket.

So far, Dhoni has maintained a conspicuous silence on the spot-fixing and betting scandal, raising whispers that his position is perhaps compromised by the ties that bind Rhiti and him to CSK and its ownership.

Back in January 2012, after eight consecutive Test losses suffered by India, Srinivasan reportedly used his veto powers as president to stop a 3-2 vote in the selection committee to remove Dhoni as captain and player from the Test team.

Srinivasan is also the owner of India Cements, the company that owns CSK and in which Dhoni is a vice-president. And Rhiti, riding on its prized client Dhoni, markets CSK.