MS Dhoni is set to return for his 17th straight season of Indian Premier Leaguer (IPL). Thanks to this T20 league, the fans get to see Dhoni still playing cricket and captaining a team, four years after his retirement. The 42-year-old champion cricketer continues to keep fans amazed by his supreme levels of fitness while also winning championships for the Chennai Super Kings. Apart from two years when the franchise was suspended  – 2016 and 2017 – Dhoni has captained CSK in all seasons. He is the longest running, most successful captain in IPL with five trophies to his name and many more finals.

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Dhoni is called ‘Thala’ by his fans, which means the ‘Boss’. He has found his second home in Chennai as the locals treat him like a god. They see Dhoni as their own despite his Ranchi heritage. Since joining CSK ahead of inaugural season in 2008, Dhoni has been a constant at CSK. You cannot think of a CSK without Dhoni and vice-versa, in IPL. 

Many people feel that Dhoni always wanted to play for CSK. But this notion is far from truth. In the first few years of IPL, there used to be icon players. For example, Sachin Tendulkar was an icon player for Mumbai Indians (MI), Sourav Ganguly was for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Rahul Dravid for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). But Dhoni was not an icon player. A franchise had reached out to him, not sure if it was CSK, to make Dhoni ther icon player. But the former India captain refused to take that deal. 

But why? Dhoni was always a smart man and realised that IPL is a platform where you should give your all to the whicheever team you play for in return of a deserving price. He chose not to become an icon player and risk throwing himself into auction pool as he felt that this way he could earn way more.

In an interview to Star Sports, as quoted by CricTracker, Dhoni said that he knew he could fetch more money in the auction and decided to get his name listed. Read what he said below.

“When the announcement was made for five marquee players, a certain franchise approached me to become one of them. I had to make a quick decision. As the captain of the 2007 T20 World Cup-winning team, I thought I would easily go for 1 million dollars. So, I decided to take a risk and enter the auction. If two out of the three teams that didn’t have marquee players showed interest in me, along with the other franchises, this would increase my chances of getting a higher price,” MS Dhoni explained to Star Sports.

Dhoni fetched Rs 1.5 million dollars (nearly Rs 6 crore) and said that his decision to put himself up for auction turned out to be right.

“When a cricket player becomes a marquee player, the franchise owner thinks that they have to pay 10 or 15 percent more to that player. So, in order to avoid this, I decided to enter the auction. This way, if any franchise without a marquee player bought me, I had a better chance of getting more money. During the auction, the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) bought me for 1.5 million dollars (approximately 6 crore). My strategy worked at that point in time,” Dhoni further said.


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