London: A wicket-keeper, aggressive batsman and India's captain in Test, one-day and Twenty20 cricket, Mahendra Singh Dhoni is a master at juggling various jobs at the same time.

Now, ahead of the Champions Trophy that opens in England and Wales this week, Dhoni has been burdened with another task - defending the alleged sins of his pay-masters.

Indian cricket was thrown into chaos last month when three players, including recent Test bowler S Sreesanth, were arrested for alleged spot-fixing during the glitzy T20 League.

Further trouble mounted on Sunday for N Srinivasan, who stepped aside from his post while a police investigation over his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan's links to illegal bookmakers remained ongoing.

Chennai Super Kings is owned by Srinivasan's India Cements


Meiyappan was accredited as 'team owner' of the T20 League franchise Chennai Super Kings, owned by Srinivasan's business venture India Cements, leading to a revolt in the Indian board against their boss.

Dhoni also serves as Vice-president of India Cements

Dhoni shares a special bond with Srinivasan, not only as captain of India and the Chennai Super Kings, but also as a vice-president of India Cements, an appointment made earlier this year.

As he plots India's strategy ahead of their Champions Trophy opener against South Africa in Cardiff on Thursday, Dhoni has also been busy fending off questions about the scandal back home.

MSD waiting for ‘right time’ to respond

The unruffled 31-year-old has done a good job of keeping cool till now, but it remains to be seen how long he can maintain his composure.

"When the right time comes, I will answer it," Dhoni said when bombarded with spot-fixing queries at his opening media conference in England last week.

" Sourav Ganguly, who took over as India's captain soon after the match-fixing episode in 2000 that led to the downfall of Mohammad Azharuddin and the late South Africa captain Hansie Cronje, sympathized with Dhoni.

Ganguly defends Dhoni


"Dhoni is in a tough position at the moment. But it is not his fault that he was picked up by Chennai Super Kings. It is not his fault that Gurunath (Meiyappan) is involved in betting," Ganguly was quoted as saying in the media.

Team India need to restore reputation


Dhoni will know that he and his team can restore Indian cricket's damaged reputation by doing well on the field, starting with the eight-nation Champions Trophy. And he has the credentials to undertake a revival.

MSD: A man worth USD 26.5 million

Last year, an extraordinary career that began as a railway ticket inspector in his home state of Jharkhand, saw Dhoni hailed by Forbes magazine as the world's richest cricketer with annual earnings of USD 26.5 million.

Taking over as captain in 2007 when senior players declined to take part in the inaugural World Twenty20 in South Africa, Dhoni engineered one of India's most remarkable runs in the sport.

Under him, India won the World Twenty20 in 2007, rose to number one in the Test rankings in 2009 and lifted the 50-over World Cup in 2011, with Dhoni hitting the winning six against Sri Lanka in the Mumbai final.

MSD enjoyed complete backing from Srinivasan


But two humiliating 4-0 Test whitewashes in England and Australia, followed by a rare home series defeat against England last year, led to calls for Dhoni's removal from the side altogether.

Dhoni not only retained the captaincy - only due to Srinivasan's intervention - but also hit back by leading India in a 4-0 rout of Australia in a Test series at home earlier this year.

He will now have to show similar dexterity to pull Indian cricket out of a hole again.

(JPN/Agencies)

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