In the wake of the 2013 IPL betting and match-fixing scandal, the Supreme Court may have set him aside from cricket administration, but former BCCI and ICC supremo N. Srinivasan continues to be passionate about the game and his IPL team, Chennai Super Kings. The 75-year-old is synonymous with the rise of Mahendra Singh Dhoni and is said to have played a stellar role in shaping the career of the Ranchi man, who has captained CSK since 2008. Dhoni retired from international cricket on August 15, but will play for CSK in the upcoming IPL in the UAE. Srinivasan spoke to Soumitra Bose.
How did you react to Dhoni’s retirement from international limited overs cricket?
Let it be a mystery if Dhoni informed me that he was retiring. Retirement is not an easy decision and maybe he is just tired. I will like him to focus on IPL 2020 and he is already doing that.
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When Dhoni retired from Test cricket in the middle of a series in Australia in December 2014, he had consulted you. What did you tell him?
MS had decided to quit Tests before 2014. I had stopped him, saying he still had a lot of Test cricket left in him. In Australia, he told me, “Last time, I listened to you, this time you listen to me.” He said, “I am tired sir, I want to quit.” Dhoni didn’t want any fanfare…just left quietly in a matter of 30 minutes and let Virat Kohli take over. I am not surprised the way (through an Instagram post) he left this time too.
What were your first impressions of Dhoni when you saw him in 2008?
From day one, when he came here (Chennai...