MS Dhoni is one of the colossal figures of Indian cricket owing to the accolades he has garnered over the years. Referred as ‘Caption Cool’, his calm attitude during intense matches was something which was talked about by everyone. He is known to be cool and calculative with no time to get into unnecessary controversies or trouble.
However, being the Indian captain comes with its fair share of controversy – whether you like it or not. His career isn’t completely distant of controversies.
Here are 5 controversies of Dhoni’s career.
1- PETA Wrath For Goat Sacrifice
On March 10, 2008, the then ODI skipper allegedly sacrificed a goat at a Ranchi temple to celebrate the triumph of the tri-series in Australia. The act angered the whole nation and he faced wrath of animal control groups including PETA.
PETA India’s chief functionary Anuradha Sawhney wrote a letter to Dhoni, which read,
“I hope that, upon reflection, you have come to regret your decision to tarnish your triumph with cruelty to animals.
As a talented athlete, you are a role model for young people. We hope that you will consider the enormous influence you have over the children and in the future refrain from cruel acts that your young fans might be inspired to imitate.”
“Mr Dhoni will really need divine intervention now to repair his tarnished image.”
2- Gautam Gambhir Being Dropped Due To ‘Strange’ Policy
Dhoni introduced an unusual ‘Rotation Policy’, according to which the top-order of Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar and Gautam Gambhir would take turns to sit out and rest among other team members to ensure that the fielding standards of the side are maintained.
In an interview given to The Lallantop, Gautam Gambhir said that he respected the decision of every captain. But, the rotation policy that was used during the CB series was crap. He also added that if MS Dhoni opted for the rotation policy then why he picked all the three-senior players in the must-win games.
“I believe that one should follow the captain’s decision but it was complete crap. You started with the rotation policy but played all the three in the must-win games. If you make a decision, back your decision, stick to it.” Gambhir told in his interview.
3- The Dhoni-Srinivasan Connect
Dhoni and former BCCI President N Srinivasan’s relationship is almost comparable as a father-son relation.
Srinivasan who was the Treasurer of the Indian cricket board, was also the Vice Chairman and Managing Director of India Cements, that owned the widely followed Chennai Super Kings franchise in the controversial Indian Premier League. Dhoni who was the captain of CSK, was also appointed the vice president of Srinivasan’s company India Cements which later led to the accusation of ‘conflict of interest’.
In 2012, Srinivasan openly agreed to have vetoed against the selectors and helped Dhoni keep his captaincy. In Rajdeep Sardesai’s Democracy XI, Srinivasan had said,
“Yes, it is true that I vetoed the decision to drop Dhoni as captain. How can you drop someone as captain within a year of his lifting the World Cup? What you call favouritism I say is my respect for a top class cricketer’s achievements.”
4- Dhoni’s 10-Month Silence During CSK’s Match Fixing Case
In the 2013 IPL, it was alleged that Dhoni was involved in “match fixing.” After CSK’s match-fixing scandal came into light, Sampath Kumar, the then SP, Crime Branch, CID (Internal Railways) submitted a report on January 17, 2014, in which a bookie named ‘Kitty’ had alleged that Dhoni knew about the fixing and had agreed to “score 140 runs and to lose in the match against RR at Jaipur match scheduled on 12/5/2013.”
Dhoni after 10 months, filed a defamation lawsuit against two media companies – Zee Media Corporation and News Nation Network – for spreading wrong information and for colluding with Kumar, who was also suspended.
The suit also says,
“The reports that were broadcast by the news networks revolved around IPL team Chennai Super Kings of which Dhoni is the captain and the alleged involvement of him in fixing devastated the reputation and image of the Dhoni and his image in the eyes of millions of fans all over the world.”
But the problem was Dhoni’s 10-month silence before taking a stand, that one hoped Indian skipper would have made much earlier.
He broke his silence in a docudrama aptly titled ‘Roar of the Lion’,
“I did not want to talk about it to others, at the same time it was scratching me. I don’t want anything to affect my cricket. For me cricket is the most important thing.”
5- Conflict of Interest – Rhiti Sports
It was found out that Dhoni held a 15% stake in a company known as ‘Rhiti Sports’ that also represented Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja, who were not only his teammates for the Indian cricket team but also the IPL franchise, Chennai Super Kings. It was said that Dhoni favoured these two as it meant more money into the company as appearance fees for playing for their teams.
This would have violated BCCI norms but the entire case disappeared.
The company denied the allegations and declared that he did not have any stakes at that particular time.
No matter how many controversies surrounded him, he is still immensely loved by people around the world.