Chennai Super Kings (CSK), the Chennai franchise of Indian Premier League (IPL), which was owned by India Cements, will be "back with a bang" in 2018, said India Cements Vice Chairman and Managing Director N Srinivasan.
In an event held in Chennai, he said: "In 2018 CSK is back with a bang and hopefully, with M S Dhoni leading it. The absence from the field for two years has not affected the brand and has not in any way lessened the interest in CSK." It may be noted that the 2017 season of IPL is expected to start on April 5.
"The franchise was unfairly banned and while one can accuse of anybody of anything, not a single player of CSK was accused of anything. They did nothing, they just played. For the last two years, the team was not there and many people have said that they miss CSK and without the team, IPL is not the same. It is a powerful brand and a large part of it becoming a brand is of course because of the Captain M S Dhoni," he said.
The Chennai franchise was suspended for two years from IPL by Justice R M Lodha Committee in 2015, as it convicted Gurunath Meiyappan, son-in-law of Srinivasan, as guilty of betting. Rajasthan Royals, another IPL team, was also suspended along with it. There were also allegations related to the conflict of interest of Srinivasan owning the brand while he was the head of BCCI. CSK has also been demerged into a seperate company by India Cements.
According to an earlier American Appraisal India (AAI's) report, which was released in April 2015, CSK's value dropped to $67 million in 2015 from $72 million in 2014.