Former Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, while speaking at an event on Friday morning in Chennai, said that the city is like a second home for him and it did hurt to see that Chennai Super Kings was suspended for two years following the IPL controversy. Dhoni was a guest on the launch of a Unique Consumer Offer by India Cements, said the controversy didn’t affect team’s brand image at all. “IPL controversy has not affected the brand image of the team. Yes, it did hurt when the team was suspended for 2 years,” the wicketkeeper-batsman, who was retained by the franchise for a whopping Rs 15 crore, said. “We are more like a family. Stay together through ups and downs,” he added.
Dhoni added that he never thought of playing for any another team and despite not being there for past 2 years, the franchise’s fan following got only better. “There was no question of not playing for Chennai. Fans here have adopted me as one of their own. There can’t be a bigger compliment than that. Never thought of playing for any other franchise,” he said. “I am happy to be back in Chennai, it’s my second home,” the former Indian skipper added.
Dhoni said that he has a special connection with Chennai. “Test Debut, Highest Score in Test, Playing for Asia XI, not only the innings for CSK,” he said. Apart from Dhoni, Chennai has also retained Suresh Raina and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who were an important part of the franchise before it was dissolved.
Talking about off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin who was not retained by the team, Dhoni said that being a local lad, the team will go for him and will try to get him back in the auction. Interestingly, CSK still have two Right to Match (RTM) cards that can be used to get Ashwin back.
The IPL auction 2018 will take place on January 27 and 28. A total of 1122 players have registered themselves for the auction including some big names like Joe Root, Chris Gayle, Yuvraj Singh, Hashim Amla, Colin Munro, Gautam Gambhir and Dwayne Bravo. The list includes 281 capped players, 838 uncapped players, including 778 Indians and three players from the Associate nations.