MS Dhoni © PTI
MS Dhoni reportedly did not respond on email © PTI

 

Dec 3, 2o13

 

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president and Indian Premier League (IPL) side Chennai Super Kings’ owner N Srinivasan passed on the advice made by his astrologer Dr Venkatesan Karthikeyan to Mahendra Singh Dhoni and team during the sixth edition of the Twenty20 league.

 

According to the Economic Times, the three advises were made on toss and batting order, also including the final of the tournament against the Kolkata Knight Riders, which Chennai lost by 23 runs. The email conversation also carried the advice which deities should be propitiated on match days.

 

The report added that International Cricket Council’s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ICC ACSU) and Mumbai Police are aware of the email conversation.

 

Srinivasan declined commenting on the issue and said, “I’m at my residence and no longer taking calls.”

 

Astrologer Dr Karthikeyan, as well as India and Chennai Super Kings captain Dhoni didn’t respond to the emails.

 

Arun Pandey, Dhoni’s friend and business partner said, “Dhoni is a very humble and honest man and he will do anything to help you but when it comes to the game he is quite clear: he is the captain, he makes the decisions.”

 

During the IPL final, Srinivasan included in the email under the address md@indiacements.co.in, which instructed regarding the toss that “choice of batting first is preferred”. The email added that the batting order should not be changed — “not to change batting order” and “Dhoni not to change order as far as possible”.

 

Chennai lost the toss and Mumbai batted first while the batting order remained the same.

 

Pandey added, “If even Dhoni’s father told him to take a glass of water for refreshment when he was on the field, he wouldn’t do it. So it would never be that he would do any of these things like batting first or not changing the order.”

 

Srinivasan received an email from Dr Karthikeyan on April 8 for a game against the King’s XI Punjab in Mohali, which was played on April 10. In this mail, Srinivasan’s son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan was asked to “stay away from viewing the match in any format”. Chennai won the match by ten wickets.

 

Another email sent on April 11 referred to a tie against the Royal Challengers Bangalore, which was played on April 13. Gurunath was asked to stay away and Chennai went on to win the match by four wickets and one ball remaining.

 

In both the games, the directive was: “Choice (bowling/batting) for toss win to be followed as advised for IPL”.

 

However, in both these emails a sentenced was used which is puzzling — “magic stick to be brought in for control and online correction also”.

 

Dr Karthikeyan’s advice before the final was, “As 26th is a Sunday and Jyeshta Nakshatra and not friendly to Shri Dhoni, we have to do special prayers to some important deities of various temples.”

 

He also advised the team members to carry with them the laminated pictures of Ganesha and Goddess Baglamugi, which were to be placed on specific walls in the dressing room. The team management and owners were also asked to wear blue T-shirts throughout the match.