news Tuesday, July 21, 2015 - 05:30
By Punarvasu In a span of less than a decade, Mahendra Singh Dhoni became a household name in India. For a country that had been obsessed with Sachin Tendulkar, Dhoni gave them someone new to look up to, some one new to worship. He got India its second World Cup, its first ever T20 World Cup and is currently the most successful Indian captain overseas.  He has also led Chennai Super Kings to be the most successful team in IPL, with three tournament wins in their kitty. But since questions started being raised about Gurunath Meiyappan and his dubious activities, the glory of MSD and Chennai Super Kings, as much as fans would deny, has been slightly marred. And now with the Supreme Court's indicting verdict, handing a life ban to Meiyappan and a two year suspension to CSK, there is an undeniable shadow over Dhoni's head.  While Meiyappan's suspension comes as little surprise to most, the ban on CSK has definitely broken hearts. But MSD feigning complete ignorance on what was happening right under his nose has brought him a notch lower in several fans' view. With Meiyappan spending so much time at the dug-out, did MSD, with his kind of experience and talent, not smell a fish? Deposing in front of the Mudgal committee, MSD had said, if leaks are to be believed, that Gurunath Meiyappan was just a cricket enthusiast, as he was being paraded, and held no position in the team. It has now been established that Meiyappan indeed held an official position in the team - that of the team principal.  With that, Dhoni's credibility, at least on some level, has taken a hit. Dhoni is associated with Indian Soccer League (ISL) by being on board of the Chennaiyin FC management and also owns the Ranchi hockey team in Hockey India League. So in his own right, MSD has experience as a sports administrator. Was he so naive as to not know what Meiyappan really was in CSK? Or was Dhoni's loyalty to India Cements, which owns CSK and of which Dhoni is Vice President, so strong that he had to toe N Srinivasan's line? Whichever is the case, the least MSD can now do is come out and clear the air on where he stands on the entire issue. His fans who made him one of the most influential sportspersons in the world deserve at least that. And more importantly, at a time when indian cricket is at crossroads, for the sake of the sport of which he is the poster boy, MS Dhoni needs to accede his stand. Instead, his only reaction so far, asking a reporter if he can ask any “good questions” when asked about the SC verdict, seems like an attempt to just circumvent the issue and not take any onus. (Image courtesy: Chennai Super Kings Facebook page)

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