MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina are the two reasons why Chennai Super Kings have tasted success over the years. The ex-India stars have won innumerable games for the franchise and are icons in the Southern part of India. For fans who have followed them closely over the years, they would know that it is the friendship the two cricketers share – which reflects in their performances on the field and benefits CSK.
With most icon players already bought by franchises, CSK put in an early bid for Dhoni – the person they were looking at to lead the side. MSD, who was already the captain of the Indian limited-overs team in 2008, was bought by the Super Kings for $1.5 million at the 2008 players’ auction.
Soon after he was bought in early, CSK was looking at forming a core featuring Indian stars, and that is where Suresh Raina was considered. With a base price of $125,000 (INR 55 lakhs aprox), Raina’s stocks skyrocketed to a price of $650,000 (INR 2.6 crore approx) by the end of the inaugural auction.
By then, Raina had become friends with Dhoni and had spent a good two seasons with him. This benefitted the CSK as they went on to win three IPL titles and are to date considered one of the most consistent sides in the cash-rich league.
In a book titled ‘Believe’, Raina reveals what Dhoni told him after he was bought by CSK.
Like always, Dhoni kept it short and simple, he said merely three words ‘Maza aayega dekh’ (it will be fun).
Excerpt from the book: The IPL auctions happened, and like every other cricketer in the country, I was waiting eagerly to know which team I would be playing for. I was elated to go to the Chennai Super Kings. It meant Mahi Bhai and I would be playing for the same team. I heard from him almost immediately after I was bought in the auction. He said, ‘Maza aayega dekh.’ There was a lot of attention on him, of course. And looking at some of the other figures whom Chennai had bought—Matthew Hayden, Muttiah Muralitharan, and Stephen Fleming—I was just delighted to be in the same team as them. The IPL strengthened my bond with Mahi Bhai even further.