What’s the story?
N Srinivasan, former ICC and BCCI President, and the owner of IPL franchise, Chennai Super Kings, has emphatically said that the Chennai-based team will be back in the IPL in 2018. The former ICC boss was speaking at Madras Advertising Club’s annual awards function where he said that former India captain, MS Dhoni, would lead the side once more when their suspension is lifted in 2018.
“M.S. 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,” said Srinivasan in his keynote address, as quoted from Sportstar Live.
Extra Cover: IPL 2017: Evolution of the Chennai Super Kings
He also hit back at those who criticised the players and said, “You can accuse anybody of anything but you can’t accuse a single player. They just played. It was just pure jealousy.”
In case you didn’t know...
The franchise, which is owned by India Cements Ltd., where Srinivasan is managing director and vice-chairman, were suspended from the IPL for two years due to the involvement of Gurunath Meiyappan – the son-in-law of Srinivasan and team principal of CSK – in the 2013 betting scandal.
The Lodha committee passed a judgement in 2015, where CSK and Rajasthan Royals were to be suspended for two seasons and be replaced with two new teams.
The former BCCI President has been in the centre of controversy in the last couple of years. He was asked to step down from the position of BCCI President, owing to his conflict of interest, and was also replaced as Chairman of the ICC by Shashank Manohar.
In his speech at the awards function, Srinivasan also disclosed that the purchase of Chennai Super Kings by his company when he was the treasurer of the BCCI was approved by then BCCI President, Sharad Pawar, and then IPL President, Lalit Modi.
He also spoke glowingly about how the CSK brand has grown significantly and that the controversies surrounding the team will have no bearing on the brand’s image.
Srinivasan, who is also the chairman of Tamil Nadu Cricket Association, spoke proudly of the impact the TNPL – the state’s very own T20 league – had on the state’s performance in the Deodhar Trophy and Vijay Hazare Trophy.
The Chennai Super Kings will be back in action in the IPL from the 2018 season, along with Rajasthan Royals, while the two replacement teams – Rising Pune Supergiants and Gujarat Lions – will make way for them.
Although the two-year suspension may not dispel the cloud of match-fixing and erase CSK’s ignominious past, the team and players deserve no blame for the controversies that happened. The suspension is justified and CSK will hopefully have a new lease of life, devoid of controversies.