Dhoni threatens Rs. 100-crore defamation suit against daily

Dhoni's lawyers, the Delhi-based C&C Associates, have sent a nine-page legal notice which calls Sunil Dev's allegations as "false propaganda" and an "attempt to defame Dhoni".

M. S. Dhoni's lawyers have sent a nine-page legal notice to the Hindi daily.   -  K. R. Deepak

India's limited-overs skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has sought to take legal action against a daily Hindi newspaper, Sun Star, which had caught former Team India manager and DDCA sports secretary, Sunil Dev, alleging that Dhoni fixed the fourth Test of the 2014 series against England in Manchester, on camera in a sting operation.

Dhoni's lawyers, the Delhi-based C&C Associates, have sent a nine-page legal notice which calls Sunil Dev's allegations as “false propaganda” and an “attempt to defame Dhoni”. Adding to that, the notice threatens to sue the publication, if it fails to formally deny the report soon.

“Our client (Dhoni) reserves the right to institute proceedings for the recovery of damages up to Rs. 100 crores from you on account of the defamation, mental agony and trauma caused to him due to this by causing loss of his reputation,” reads the legal notice .

“The said video contains footage of an absolutely dubious sting operation of the aforementioned Mr. Dev, which in the present circumstances is nothing but a false propaganda initiated by you to defame my client. In fact, the so-called Indian cricket official (Sunil Dev) who you have credited to be the source of information has strongly denied the incident,” reads the report.

Dev had allegedly said that Dhoni chose to bat first in cloudy conditions because the match was fixed, insisting that the skipper's decision came as a surprise to the team management as they had decided to bowl first in a team meeting prior to the match.

In a report, the 67-year-old — who was the manager of the Indian team on that tour — denied to have claimed that the match was fixed.

“It is all rubbish. I am planning to sue this Hindi daily and will seek legal recourse against anyone else who makes such malicious claims,” Dev said.

In the sting operation video released by the Hindi daily newspaper, Dev is seen and heard raising suspicion about the captain's decision when Dhoni chose to bat first in the cloudy conditions.

"Given the conditions, the pitch was wet due to a long spell of rain, we had decided to bowl first in a team meeting," Dev was caught on camera saying which was made public on Sunday evening. "But Dhoni surprised everyone by opting to bat first."

When the reporter asks Dev in the video whether he thought the Indian captain had fixed the match, Dev replies, "100 percent."

Note: Sportstarlive cannot authenticate the veracity of the video.