Dinesh Karthik might have played for as many as six IPL franchises, but his long-standing regret remains not being picked by Chennai Super Kings in 2008, when fellow wicketkeeper MS Dhoni pipped him to the spot.
Karthik, who’s played 182 games across twelve seasons of the IPL, the fourth-highest by any player, recalled the lead up to the inaugural IPL auction when he felt certain of landing a deal with CSK, the franchise based out of his birthplace, Chennai.
“In 2008, I was Australia, and the auction was happening [in India],” Karthik told Cricbuzz. “In the lead up to it, I was convinced – the biggest player from Tamil Nadu [his state] playing from the country. Surely they’re going to pick me, whether they’re going to make me captain or not was what was going on in my head.
“And the first name I saw picked was MS Dhoni, for $1.5 million, who was sitting right around the corner with me,” Karthik said. “He didn’t even tell me a word, I guess he didn’t know. It was the biggest dagger in my heart!”
Karthik was eventually bought by Delhi Daredevils for $525,000, and went on to play for Kings XI Punjab, Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore, and Gujarat Lions in subsequent seasons, before settling at Kolkata Knight Riders, where he has been the captain since IPL 2018. Yet, he longs to, one day, represent the Chennai franchise.
“It’s been 13 years, and I have been waiting for that elusive call from CSK.”