Ahead of the IPL 2023 mini-auction, the cricketing fraternity was expecting that the English all-rounder, Sam Curran will be going back to the Chennai Super Kings squad, predicting a gobsmacking amount. While Curran became the highest-earning player in the IPL history during the auction in Kochi on Friday, CSK had failed to acquire him. But the four-time champions bagged Ben Stokes, for a massive amount of INR 16.25 crore.
Moments after roping in the England Test captain, experts and fans started calculating whether CSK has bought Stokes as the future captain of the franchise to replace MS Dhoni. CSK CEO Kasi Viswanath later revealed Dhoni’s reaction to Stokes joining the franchise and also broke his silence on the captaincy issue.
After failing to buy the services of Curran and then West Indies all-rounder Jason Holder, CSK battled against four other franchises in an intense bidding war to rope in Stokes. The England star became the joint third most expensive player at an IPL auction ever.
Time to unveil the 𝘽𝙞𝙜 𝘽𝙚𝙣 at the Chepauk 🏟️ @benstokes38 will spread some #Yellove for a 🔥 price of 16.25 CR ✈ #AuctionFreeOnJioCinema continues ➡ LIVE on #JioCinema 📲#IPL2023Auction #IPLAuction #TATAIPLAuctionOnJioCinema pic.twitter.com/Gi1WMjFzgv
— JioCinema (@JioCinema) December 23, 2022
At the end of a frantic bidding day in Kochi, where 80 players found buyers at a combined price of INR 167 crore, CSK CEO opened up on Dhoni’s reaction to reuniting with Ben Stokes for the second time in IPL and on the leadership stance of the franchise.
As per the quotes in ESPNCricinfo, CSK CEO said, “Very excited to get Stokes and we were lucky also because he came up at the end. We wanted an allrounder and MS was very happy that we got Stokes. Captaincy option is there but it’s a call MS will take with time. Kyle Jamieson was injured so maybe many others didn’t look at him.”
He further added, “We had information from Fleming that he had recovered and was raring to go. CSK looks bright and I hope we do well this season. We follow the process always and that will help us do well.”
Dhoni had earlier stepped down from captaincy before the start of IPL 2022, making Ravindra Jadeja the new leader. But CSK were left languishing at the bottom end of the table with Jadeja struggling under pressure as well. Dhoni was hence forced to take over the captaincy role as well.