The former CSK captain was picked up by Pune franchise owned by Kolkata-based business tycoon Sanjiv Goenka’s New Rising by shelling out Rs. 12.5 Crore in the IPL player draft. Dhoni was the first choice for Pune while Suresh Raina was picked up by Rajkot franchise owned by Intex Mobiles for the same Rs 12.5 crore.
The process was necessitated after the suspension of CSK and Rajasthan Royals (RR) for two years for their alleged involvement in the 2013 IPL spot-fixing and betting scandals. CSK and RR players were only put for auction.
Ajinkya Rahane was the second choice for Pune, whereas Rajkot opted for all rounder Ravindra Jadeja by shelling out Rs 9.5 crore for each. The Rajkot team also successfully bid for New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum (Rs 7.5 crore), Australian all-rounder James Faulkner (Rs 5.5 crore) and West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo (4 Crore) while Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, Australia captain Steven Smith and South African Faf du Plessis were grabbed by Pune for identical prices.
IPL 9 will begin on April 9, 2016.