IPL 2018 auction: MS Dhoni reveals CSK will bid for ‘local boy’ Ravichandran Ashwin

MS Dhoni on Friday revealed Chennai Super Kings (CSK)’s plan to retain local boy Ravichandran Ashwin during the upcoming IPL 2018 auction slated to take place in Bengaluru on January 27 and 28.

CSK, who are returning to the IPL after serving a two-year suspension from the cash rich league, are trying their best to bring back their core group of players, who made the franchise a force to reckon with in the league.

While CSK had already retained the services of Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja apart from Dhoni, the fate of Ravichandran Ashwin was still unclear going into the IPL 2018 auction.

Dhoni has now made it clear that the franchise will go after Ashwin in the auction. “I want local players in the Chennai Super Kings. Being a local lad, will go for him during auctions and try to get him,” the former Indian captain said during a promotional event in Chennai.

CSK, who had a total of INR 80 crore in their auction purse, are left with only 47 crore to spend in the upcoming players’ auction after shelling out 33 crore on retention of Dhoni (Rs 15 crore), Suresh Raina (Rs 11 crore) and Ravindra Jadeja (Rs 7 crore).

They have also two Right To Match (RTM) cards that can be used to regain the services of a couple of their former players.

No Right to Match cards

MS Dhoni, though, added that the franchise would not be able to use RTM cards for Ashwin and instead they would be used to select other proven CSK performers.

“We also have our former players Brendon McCullum, Faf du Plessis and Dwayne Bravo. We have two RTMs. But we have to know when and where to use them. With Ashwin we cannot use the RTM as we have already got three Indian players retained. We have to buy him in the auction. He will come first in the auction. But as I said, we will have to wait and watch. We will try to get him,” he said.

Chennai Super Kings were one of the most successful and followed teams in the Indian Premier League since the inception of the T20 fiesta in 2008. At the heart of CSK’s popularity and success was the brand it built around the presence of cricketers like Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Suresh Raina and Ravichandran Ashwin.

Between 2008 and 2015, the Chennai-based team went on to lift two IPL titles besides clinching Champions League T20 titles twice as well. However, CSK, along with Rajasthan Royals, were suspended from the cash-rich league for two years after their key officials were found involved in betting activities.

With new teams joining the league, CSK’s core group of players got separated as well. While Dhoni and Ashwin played for Rising Pune Supergiant, Raina went on to lead Gujarat Lions.

As CKS return to the 11th edition of the IPL this year after serving the two-year ban, their fans expect to see the same group of players in action again. And with Dhoni announcing that the team will go after Ashwin, there is a high possibility of Chennai fans getting what they want.

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