Pacer Deepak Chahar ‘actually wanted’ Chennai Super Kings to stop bidding for him after it had hurtled past Rs 13 crore during the IPL auction 2022 as he was afraid that it may come in the way of building a strong team.
Bought back by his old franchise for a staggering Rs 14 crore, making him the most expensive Indian bowler at an IPL auction, Chahar said he couldn't imagine playing for any team apart from CSK. “I wanted to play for CSK because I haven't imagined myself playing in other colour than yellow,” Chahar said.
“At one point, I thought it (the bid price) was too much. As a CSK player, I also want to build a good team. So after they spent 13 crore, I actually wanted the bidding to stop so I can go to CSK quickly and then we can buy some other players (with the money saved),” he added.
A part of the Indian white-ball team currently, Chahar said in 2018, he was told by franchise owner N Srinivasan that ‘you will play in yellow always’. Since then, Chahar said, he had never brought up the topic of retention with the team management or its talisman Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
“I’ve never spoken about all this to Mahi bhai (captain MS Dhoni) or CSK management,” Chahar said. “In 2018, I had met Srinivasan sir, and he has said, ‘you will play in yellow always’. So, I took his word that day and since then I have never spoken about retention. I knew CSK would bid (for me).”
As the two-day mega auction progressed, he said the Indian players engaged in the ongoing limited-overs series against the West Indies kept themselves updated on news from Bengaluru, where they were going under the hammer.
“We (India's T20I squad) were travelling from Ahmedabad to Kolkata, and the whole team was watching the auction. Everyone was saying kitna ho gaya (what's the bid price?) and all that.” The 29-year-old Chahar will represent the Super Kings for fifth season in a row, having been bought by the franchise before IPL 2018 for Rs 80 lakh.
Chahar's only regret now is that he could never play alongside his cousin Rahul Chahar. They did share the dressing room at erstwhile Rising Pune Supergiants, but never played together.
“In Pune, I played first game, he played second, I played third, and he played fourth, but we never played together. I was thinking this auction we might play together, but maybe some other time. I’ll ask Rahul to come from Punjab for next year,” he said laughing.