Chennai Super Kings and MS Dhoni is a story for the fairy tales. The former Indian captain has led CSK to unprecedented glory and made them one of the most successful team in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Dhoni’s bond with CSK started right from the inaugural season the T20 franchise league when the Chennai-based team picked MS Dhoni as their marquee player at the 2008 IPL Players Auctions. Since then, Dhoni has led the ‘Men in Yellow’ to three IPL trophies, seven finals and three Champions League T20 titles. Suresh Raina Asks Shardul Thakur for Coffee Date After Chennai Super Kings Puts Up Gender Swap Picture on Social Media.

Dhoni was the costliest player at the first-ever IPL players auctions with Chennai Super Kings signing him with a whopping Rs 9.5 Crore. Former IPL Chief Operating Officer (COO) and current CEO-Sports of Reliance Industries, Sundar Raman revealed how that huge amount was a clever and calculated move from CSK to sign one of India’s best players and make him the captain.

Speaking to Gaurav Kapoor in his Spotify Podcast 22 Yarns, Raman revealed the story behind CSK being able to pick Dhoni without any trouble and also how Delhi Capitals (then known as Delhi Daredevils) let go of the opportunity to sign Virat Kohli. Raman said that CSK had an advantage over other IPL teams as they were one of only two teams without a marquee or ‘icon’ player.

He also revealed that all icon players received 15 percent more money than the highest-paid player at the auctions for each franchise. Delhi had Virender Sehwag, Mumbai Indians picked Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly went to Kolkata Knight Riders and Rahul Dravid to Royal Challengers Bangalore. But CSK and Rajsthan Royals did not have any icon players.

"The only thing sure about the 2008 IPL was that the marquee players had to be assigned to their respective franchises. Sachin Tendulkar for Mumbai, Virender Sehwag for Delhi, Yuvraj Singh for Punjab, Sourav Ganguly for Kolkata," Raman was quoted by India Today as saying in the podcast. "But MS Dhoni, who was at the peak of his stardom, was without a home."

"So what did he do? He made Chennai his home. At the time, the icon player was not fixed a salary and would be paid 15% more than the highest-paid player on the team. Since CSK didn't have an icon player, they were freer to bid for the player of their choice. So the Indian T20 captain went to Chennai."

Since then Dhoni has presented CSK in 160 IPL matches and scored close to 4000 runs with the highest score of 84. But is has been captaincy and leadership that has been more valuable to the franchise. He has led them with aplomb and has made one of the most consistent teams in the league.

Raman also revealed how Delhi Capitals let the opportunity the sign Kohli pass before Bangalore signed the current Indian and RCB skipper. It has gone on to become one of the worst left-offs in the history of the league. Both DC and RCB are yet to win an IPL title but in Kohli, RCB has one of the world’s best batsman.

"Interestingly, that was also the year (2008) India had won the U-19 World Cup, just a month before the auction. They were captained by Virat Kohli and we decided to keep a separate draft for the U-19 players a few days after the auction,” said Raman. "Virat Kohli was not the first player to be picked in the draft. Delhi passed on him," Raman concluded.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jun 26, 2020 12:19 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website