How did Rajdeep Sardesai get MS Dhoni to open up?

Sardesai had butterflies in his stomach when he was about to raise the spot-fixing issue which resulted in Chennai Super Kings' suspension for 2 years.

Rajdeep Sardesai and MS Dhoni
Rajdeep Sardesai and MS Dhoni. (Photo Source: Twitter)

It is not at all difficult to see a cricketer popping up dressing room secrets, on some cricket-centric shows running around on social media platforms. However, former Indian skipper MS Dhoni was a part of none. As per the general perception, it is extremely hard to get him to speak up about his non-cricketing life. However, that impossible was made possible by journalist Rajdeep Sardesai.

In order to write his book ‘Democracy XI: The Great Indian Cricket Story’, he had to talk to many former and current greats of Indian cricket, from Mohammad Azharuddin to Virat Kohli. However, it was a headache to speak to MS. He used to send numerous messages to him and his manager, Arun Pandey. But all the messages went unanswered.


Wasn’t surprised

Speaking to The Asian Age, son of former Indian cricketer Dileep Sardesai recalled “My texts to him went unanswered. I wasn’t surprised at all; even his wife couldn’t reach him during the 2015 World Cup to inform him of the birth of their daughter! I waited for my lucky break which came when Pune IPL franchisee owner Sanjeev Goenka invited me for a dinner in May 2017. The meeting there helped Dhoni remember my request and he asked me to come over to his hotel on a later date. He spoke uninterrupted for three hours, which was more than I asked for. Had I asked Dhoni for an on-camera interview, I doubt he would have spoken.”

But Sardesai had butterflies in his stomach when he was about to raise the spot-fixing issue which resulted in Chennai Super Kings’ suspension for 2 years.

“I thought he would clam up the minute I ask him about the spot-fixing scandal that led to the suspension of Chennai Super Kings and his special bond with former BCCI boss N. Srinivasan. But he was more than happy to speak about it. He said he agreed to talk because of his respect for me as a journalist and for my father,” he said.

Nothing on the Kohli-Kumble saga

If you are expecting some unknown information regarding the Kohli-Kumble rift from Sardesai’s new book, you will be disappointed. That is because, neither Anil Kumble nor Virat Kohli was ready to speak on that issue. “They didn’t want to come on record. Kohli didn’t respond to any questions related to the controversy, while Anil said ‘let’s leave it for now’,” Sardesai commented.