The inaugural IPL auction back in 2008 was of huge significance in cricket world as team India had just won the inaugural T20I World cup and it was time BCCI was trying to rope the brand IPL. India won the inaugural edition of World T20 under the captaincy of MS Dhoni and MS was one of the hottest contenders going into the auction.
He was expected to be go for a huge sum of money in the inaugural auction. Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Royal Challengers Banglore (RCB)were always intersted in MS Dhoni as started the bidding war right from the word go. Interestingly, Chennai Super Kings ended up reserving his services for a whooping amount of $1.5 million after RCB backed out after a fierce bidding war and MS Dhoni went to CSK.
When asked about why they backed out, Charu Sharma, then chief executive of the Challengers, clarified that they feared of spending the massive sum of money on a single player.
According to him, RCB was afraid that if Dhoni failed in a few matches, the decision to spend a huge amount would have looked a bit foolish. “Imagine the backlash in Chennai (MSD was picked by CSK) if MS Dhoni fails,” Sharma was quoted saying to ESPNcricinfo.
“We knew early, the way the bid was going that it was not on for us. This is not a one-man show, it’s a team game. Suppose he gets out for a duck in a couple of matches, suppose he fails. Fans in Chennai are going to turn around as ask ‘Was he really worth so much’?” he added.
This move turned out to be a masterstroke for CSK, when they managed to qualify for the final in the very first season although they lost to Rajasthan Royals. Since then under Dhoni’s captaincy, CSK has qualified for playoff in every season, while winning the trophy three times in 2010, in 2011 and in 2018. CSK has also won Champions Trophy T20 in 2010 and 2014 a couple of times under Dhoni.
On the other hand, RCB has managed to qualify three times for the final but has not been able to win a single time.