Just days after a Hindi daily Sun Star caught former team India manager and DDCA sports secretary Sunil Dev alleging that MS Dhoni, then Test captain, fixed the fourth match of the 2014 Test series against England in Manchester on camera in a sting operation, the charismatic limited overs captain has reportedly sent a legal notice to the publication asking a denial over the alleged match-fixing reports.
According to a report in the Deccan Chronicle, Dhoni's lawyers, Dehi-based C&C Associates, have sent a nine-page legal notice which calls Sunil Dev's allegations "false propaganda" and an "attempt to defame Dhoni" and threatens to sue the daily if it fails to issue denials within the next 48 hours.
“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, as quoted in the report.
The legal notice also mentions that Dev has since denied the match-fixing allegations and questions the integrity of the sting operation.
"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," read a DNA report quoting the missive.
Sun Star had come up with a shocking sting video on 8 February in which Dev had made allegations of match-fixing against Dhoni. Dev had said that he was a "100 percent" sure Dhoni had fixed the Manchester Test in 2014, claiming that the captain chose to bat on a bowler friendly track after winning the toss.
"Given the conditions of the pitch was wet due to long spell of rain, we had decided to bowl first in a team meeting. But Dhoni surprised everyone by opting to bat first," Dev had said in the sting video.
Dev had also said that the BCCI had not taken any action over the matter even after he had submitted a report on the same personally to then BBCI president N Srinivasan after the end of the series.
Dev then denied the claims made in the sting video after it went public. "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 was quoted as saying by the Times of India.
India had lost the Manchester Test by an innings and 54 runs and Dhoni was the top scorer from the Indian side, scoring 71 and 27 runs in the first and second innings, respectively.