BCCI president N Srinivasan, who has stepped aside from his post in the wake of the spot-fixing scandal, on Friday took potshots at his detractors, saying they were "jealous" as he was able to rope in captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni to lead his Indian League T20 franchise Chennai Super Kings.
Srinivasan, who found his name dragged into the T20 fiasco after the alleged involvement of his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan in spot-fixing and betting scandal, was speaking at a function for the first time since he stopped discharging his duties as BCCI president.
"Why do you think people are jealous of CSK (Chennai Super Kings)? It is because of Dhoni. There was a savage attack on me (recently) because I have Dhoni," Srinivasan said, referring to recent controversies related to T20 league which saw him face scathing criticism on issues of propriety and probity after the arrest of his son-in-law Meiyappan.
Chennai Super Kings MS Dhoni arrives at the ground for the final T20 cricket match between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians at Eden Gardens in Kolkata. (Ajay Aggarwal/HT Photo)
Interacting with a group of students and academicians at Alagappa College of Technology, Srinivasan said his detractors would remain silent if he had released Dhoni.
Srinivasan showered accolades on the Indian captain terming him an "outstanding leader and innovative captain."
"On the field Dhoni never showed his emotions and was an intelligent cricketer and a simple man," Srinivasan said.
President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) N Srinivasan addresses a press conference in Kolkata. (AFP Photo)
"Former Indian coach Gary Kirsten once said that on the field, no one can equal Dhoni as a captain," Srinivasan said, recollecting his conversation with the South African cricketer.
Srinivasan had recently stepped aside till a probe into his son-in-law Gurunath Meyyappan was completed, with former chief Jagmohan Dalmiya being named head of an interim arrangement to run the Board.