Reports suggest that M S Dhoni has expressed wishes to buy a franchise in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla announced on Sunday two new teams would replace the suspended franchises Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR).
Dhoni already owns an Indian Super League (ISL) side — Chennaiyin FC — along with Abhishek Bachchan. The Indian captain also owns a team in the Hockey India League (HIL) — Ranchi Rays. So owning a side is not new to the former CSK and Indian team captain.
Also, Dhoni has always insisted that Ranchi should have an IPL side, and the stadium in Ranchi has the infrastructure to host international matches.
In the previous years, the Ranchi stadium has hosted a number IPL matches, and if Dhoni eventually buys a franchise, IPL will not be new to fans in that city.
If Dhoni manages to buy a team, it is clearly understood that his name would be there on the top of that draft list, as he will be directly drafted to the team he buys. CSK fans, however, might be disheartened as they might not get to see the famous quartret of Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja in the same franchise.
Dhoni has also gone on to inform the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) that he has the requisite backup to own a franchise. The prices of teams will start from a whopping Rs 40 crore during the reverse bidding process.
Anyway, five CSK and RR players will be added to the draft during the auctions and the rest will be put up for sale in front of all eight franchises.
RPG Group chief Sanjeev Goenka is also interested in buying an IPL franchise, but not from Kolkata, as it is already owned by Shah Rukh Khan and Juhi Chawla. Former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly has requested Goenka, who is also the co-owner of the ISL franchise Atletico de Kolkata, to invest in cricket, which will help develop the game.
"It could be any other city, it could be Ahmedabad, Kanpur or Indore," a top BCCI official told reporters on Tuesday.