In a recent revelation, MS Dhoni, the iconic captain of Chennai Super Kings (CSK), shed light on his decision-making process during the inaugural Indian Premier League (IPL) auction in 2008. Despite being offered the coveted status of a marquee player by certain franchises, Dhoni made a calculated risk to enter the auction, a move that eventually proved to be lucrative.

MS Dhoni’s calculated risk

During the buildup to the IPL 2008 mega-auction, Dhoni was approached by several franchises with offers to become a marquee player. However, instead of accepting this guaranteed status, the Ranchi-born star opted to take a gamble by entering the auction. His rationale behind this decision was grounded in the anticipation of securing a higher price through competitive bidding.

“Initially when five marquee players were announced, I was also approached to become a marquee player of a certain franchise. I had to make a quick decision. I thought that I was the captain of the 2007 T20 World Cup-winning team, I would easily go for 1 million dollars. So, let’s take a risk. Let’s enter the auction. If two out of three teams that don’t have marquee players get interested in me, along with the other franchises, this will increase the chances of your price going up,” Dhoni told Star Sports.

The psychology of auctions

Explaining his rationale, Dhoni highlighted the psychology behind auctions. He reasoned that by not being designated as a marquee player, franchises might be more inclined to bid aggressively for him, ultimately driving up his price.

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“If you become a marquee player, the franchise owner thinks that if I am buying a player for a certain amount, then I will have to pay 10 or 15 per cent more to the marquee player. So I thought that for me, at this point in time, it’s better to enter the auction – if any franchise without a marquee player buys me, then I have more chances of getting more money. And when the auction happened, when CSK bought me, I went for 1.5 million dollars (6 crore approx). So the thinking worked at that point of time,” added Dhoni.

Dhoni’s foresight and strategic approach paid off handsomely during the auction process. CSK acquired his services for a whopping INR 6 crore (approximately 1.5 million dollars), making him the highest-paid player in the bidding war. This strategic move not only ensured Dhoni’s financial gain but also set the stage for his illustrious journey with CSK in the IPL.

CSK’s success under Dhoni’s leadership

Dhoni’s tenure as captain of the Super Kings has been nothing short of legendary. Under his astute leadership, CSK has emerged as one of the most successful franchises in IPL history, clinching the title on five occasions. As the countdown to IPL 2024 begins, Dhoni remains a pivotal figure in CSK’s lineup, poised to lead the Yellow Army with his trademark finesse and strategic acumen.

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