Former India captain MS Dhoni believes that as a person, the biggest crime that he can commit is not a murder, but match-fixing. Hotstar’s upcoming documentary series on Dhoni and the Indian Premier League franchise Chennai Super Kings titled Roar of the Lion, goes live on March 20. The 2011 World Cup winning captain can be heard on the trailer saying it was a tough phase for CSK, indicating the 2 years that the team was suspended. Dhoni largely had a controversy free-career, until allegations of match-fixing emerged against him and a number of other players.
In 2014, the names of six prominent Indian players cropped up in a report to the Supreme Court, by a committee investigating the betting and spot-fixing scam in the IPL. An India Today exclusive dated February 11, 2014, cited a report submitted to Justice Mukul Mudgal by G Sampath Kumar (SP, Railways, Trichy), and noted that the latter had come in contact with bookies while investigating a fake passport case in 2013. The report included the name of MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina.
Mudgal reportedly did not clear anyone, though he said that more investigations were required for the spot-fixing cases. The report in question noted that Dhoni and Raina were well known to Gurunath Meiyappan, the son-in-law of N Srinivasan, the former president of the BCCI and Chairman of the ICC. It further added that a certain Vikram Agarwal revealed that a negotiation for match-fixing between Rajasthan Royals and CSK. Meiyappan apparently had to convey the same to Dhoni and a couple of others to finalise. The alleged match was dated to be played on May 12, 2013. The report added that Dhoni allegedly agreed to the plan and that CSK will score 140 runs.
As the controversy blew up, Dhoni’s side of the story was revealed through a book titled Democracy’s XI, written by Rajdeep Sardesai. “Let me tell you, it is an absolute lie that I told a probe panel that Meiyappan was only a cricket enthusiast, all I said is he had nothing to do with the team's on-field cricketing decisions,” read an excerpt from the book.
It was a shock to fans that Dhoni, who is a celebrated figure in India and the world would have his name on a police report - that too for match-fixing.
Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals were eventually suspended for two years from the IPL. Dhoni, Raina and other Indian players were not formally accused of spot-fixing. Meanwhile, Srinivasan stepped down from his post as the BCCI chief because of ‘conflict of interest’, (he was also the owner of CSK, hence the conflict). He transferred his shares of the team to India Cements and currently doesn’t own the team. Dhoni returned to captaining CSK post the suspension.