Ex-IPL auctioneer recalls IPL bidding war over MS Dhoni in 2008

MS Dhoni is an icon in Indian cricket lore and it’s not surprising that when the first IPL auction was held in 2008, every franchise would want to have the star batsman in their team. Former IPL Auctioneer Richard Madley corroborated that in Ravichandran Ashwin’s YouTube channel.

Madley recalled how Dhoni had triggered the first ever bidding war in IPL history. “Then out of the bag came the man himself, the ultimate all-rounder Mahendra Singh Dhoni, and there we saw the first bidding war of many in the IPL auctions,” he said.

In the aforementioned auction, Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings placed a bid for Dhoni, who had guided India to T20 World Cup glory in the 2007 edition of the ICC event. Chennai did not have an icon player while Mumbai did in Sachin Tendulkar. Ultimately, Chennai held on and secured Dhoni’s services for $1.5 million.

Madley also recalled how legendary spinner Shane Warne was sold to Rajasthan Royals at his base price. “I remember the second player coming out of the bag that day was Shane Warne. I thought okay here’s Warnie and this will be interesting, his base price was I think around 400000 US dollars. That’s what he sold for at his base price to Rajasthan Royals and I thought at that time that was a smart move,” Madley said.

“It’s a smart move because at the end of his career but someone remarkably successful, experienced, charismatic and who was a leader. They bought Shane Warne and what did Rajasthan Royals do in IPL one, they won it,” he added.

Under Dhoni, CSK have become one of the most successful franchises in the league’s history having won the IPL title four times, the most recent one coming in 2021.

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