'Ashwin will come first in the auction' - Dhoni

'Ashwin will come first in the auction' - Dhoni

It is also worth mentioning here that Dhoni is set to play for Chennai Super Kings in the IPL after a long hiatus of two years.

Two-time champions CSK spent Rs 33 crore to retain MSD (15cr), Suresh Raina (11cr) and Ravindra Jadeja (7cr) at the end of their two-year suspension recently. Dhoni said, "I want local players in the Chennai Super Kings". CSK have returned and they have retained their leader ahead of this year's IPL. Who we will get in the auction...that becomes slightly tough to say as of now.

"The thought of not coming back never crossed my mind", said Dhoni during the event when asked if joining the side was a natural choice.

Admitting that his loyalty was put to the test over the two-year period that the Chennai Super Kings were suspended, former India skipper and CSK captain said, "A lot of people approached me". I always keep saying, you know, it is like a second home to me. "I am touched by the admiration and ovation I receive from CSK fans, which will always remain close to my heart". But as I said, we will have to wait and watch. This is a special place.

The team management confirmed they will retain the core team, support staff and coaching staff. Stephen Fleming will be back at the helm as the coach with Michael Hussey (who earlier played for CSK) as batting coach and local lad L Balaji as the bowling coach for Super Kings. We have to buy him in the auction. "So that was a very easy answer for me", he added. With Ashwin, you know we had done the same thing in the past.

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"We also have our former players Brendon McCullum, Faf du Plessis and Dwayne Bravo". Ashwin will come first in the auction for us. With Ashwin we can not use the RTM as we have already got three Indian players retained.

"At an auction, we also have to look at how much money we can afford to go for each individual as we look to make a strong team", he added.

With only two Right to Match (RTM) cards available, the team from Chennai will have their task cut-off and with Ashwin in the auction pool, the bidding war will certainly get more intense.

For the past two seasons, both the former champions were replaced by Rising Pune Supergiant and Gujarat Lions. "You look to draw a Test match", Dhoni, who has retired from Tests but continues to be a part of India's limited-overs teams, said at a press conference here. There is a lot of excitement among fans about the fact that CSK is back.

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