Chennai Super Kings icon Mahendra Singh Dhoni has revealed that there were many interested parties in the lead-up to the 2018 IPL Retention. The event in Mumbai earlier this month eventually saw him being retained by the Chennai franchise, whom he led to trophies in 2010 and 2011.
CSK, returning to the league after a two-year ban, used all their three options to retain Dhoni, Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja. The trio enjoys an extraordinary following in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.
Speaking at an event in Chennai, Dhoni clarified that the thought of joining another franchise never crossed his mind. "A lot of people approached me, I can tell you that. But, you know, I can't think of not coming back to CSK," he said.
The former India captain also praised the franchise for holding its own following the ban that saw them miss the 2016 and 2017 editions, to the great disappointment of Chennai fans. The ban had come after CSK were found guilty of indulging in betting activities.
"And as I said, it is because of everything -- what we been through, how we have conducted ourselves, how the management has been, how the players have been, how the fans have been. I always keep saying, you know, it is like a second home to me.
"The fans have over here have literally adopted me, they accept me as their own. There can't be a bigger compliment than that. This is a special place and that thought of being with any other franchise was never a question. So that was a very easy answer for me," he added.
The much-anticipated 2018 IPL auction will take place from January 27-28 in Bengaluru, where Dhoni, by his own admission, will look to bring spinner Ravichandran Ashwin back to the franchise.