“The biggest crime that I can commit is not a murder, it is actually match-fixing,” Mahendra Singh Dhoni has said in a soon-to-be-released documentary that focuses on Chennai Super Kings’ fairy tale IPL comeback last year, following a two-year suspension for spot-fixing. Dhoni led the Chennai franchise to its third IPL title in 2018, making it a dream return to the competition after the team served out a two-year ban for its management’s role in the 2013 spot-fixing scandal.
“The team was involved, I was accused too. It was a tough phase for all of us. Fans felt that the punishment was harsh. Coming back was an emotional moment and I have always said, what doesn’t kill you makes you strong,” says Dhoni in the 45-second trailer of documentary ‘Roar of the Lion’ which will be streamed on Hotstar from March 20.
Dhoni had not commented on the turmoil before this.
In July 2015, Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals were suspended from the cash-rich cricket league for two years for betting activities of their key officials Gurunath Meiyappan and Raj Kundra during the 2013 season. Both the officials were banned for life from being involved in any cricket matches conducted by the BCCI.
The punishment was handed down by a Supreme Court- appointed three-member committee headed by former CJI R M Lodha, which held that the betting activities of the two officials, Meiyappan and Kundra, then a co-owner of Rajasthan Royals, brought the game of cricket, BCCI and IPL into disrepute.
The 2019 edition of the IPL begins March 23 with Chennai Super Kings hosting Royal Challengers Bangalore in Chennai.
Earlier, Dhoni had been “rested” for the final two ODIs of the ongoing series against Australia. This may also mean that Friday’s match in Ranchi could well be Dhoni’s last international outing on home soil. “ We will have some changes in the last two games. Mahi will not be playing in the last two games. He will be taking rest ,” India’s assistant coach Sanjay Bangar told media persons after the third ODI in Ranchi.
With India not having any home matches till October, the match in Ranchi could well be the last time that Dhoni has played in India Blues on home soil. The World Cup is widely believed to be Dhoni’s swansong in India colours.