Delivering the key-note lecture at the Madras Advertising Club’s annual awards function, former BCCI President N Srinivasan spoke about Chennai Super Kings’ IPL ban, the possibility of Dhoni returning to the franchise when the team takes part in the IPL once again next year, and the circumstances in which the team was bought by India cements, among other topics.
In a report by cricbuzz.com, Srinivasan, who is also the Vice Chairman and MD of India Cements said that his company had decided to bid for the Chennai franchise before the first season of the IPL only after Sharad Pawar and then IPL Chairman Lalit Modi had approved it. He also spoke about how despite the ban on CSK, the team’s brand has not taken a hit, and MS Dhoni’s part in the franchise’s success. Here are the excerpts from his key-note lecture.
On bidding for Chennai Super Kings before IPL season one
“We received an invitation from the then chairman of IPL (Lalit Modi) asking whether India Cements would bid. So I took this letter and wrote to the then BCCI president Mr. (Sharad) Pawar asking if we can bid since I was the BCCI treasurer and MD and promoter of India Cements. Although everyone knew this story, they chose to ignore it.”
“I get a reply back from Mr. Pawar saying that ‘I have consulted all my colleagues and there is no bar on India Cements to take the tender and bid for an IPL team’. This was given in writing from him and following all due processes, the BCCI was asked and we went ahead.”
On MS Dhoni and CSK’s success
“How did we get there? The first truly game changing decision was to get MS Dhoni on board. He had won the T20 WC in 2007, had his own style and was different from others. An aura developed around the team because of its performance and its captain who was growing in stature, winning with the national team. He adopted the city and vice-versa.”
“The Tamil anthem, the colour yellow, the ‘whistle podu’ song along with Dhoni helped build the CSK brand. We have not been part of the IPL for two years but it has not affected the brand one bit.”
On the possibility of Dhoni returning to CSK in IPL 2018
“MS Dhoni wearing yellow and leading the CSK team onto the ground. Come 2018, there is every possibility of it happening. We will be back with a bang.”
“Before the first auction, we told the group which was sitting there to get MS Dhoni at any price. People criticize it (the team) and made all kinds of allegations, but still its followers have only grown. Wherever I go, thanks to the power of CSK, there is not a single place where people don’t want to come and take a selfie with me.”
On the Tamil Nadu Premier League, and how it has helped cricket in the state
“We started the TNPL since the people of the state missed out on T20 cricket after CSK’s suspension and the inaugural season was a huge success.”
“We have players who did well in TNPL being picked up the IPL sides and now (TNPL) has helped TN win the two domestic one-day tournaments. Deodhar Trophy win is particularly special since TN played against India A and B teams that had players from all over India who are either part of the national side or on the fringes of the national team.”
“It is the the first time a state team has won and this despite not having some of our top players. TNPL has done well as a brand but it has even done better for cricket in TN.”