'As the sequence of events unfolded, I knew there was a punishment coming the team's way but the quantum of it was surprising.'
Chennai Super Kings captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni revealed that the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League, in 2013, was the darkest phase of his professional career, when his team was banned for two years in the aftermath of the spot-fixing scandal.
"As the sequence of events unfolded, I knew there was a punishment coming the team's way but the quantum of it was surprising," Dhoni says in a documentary, released on Wednesday.
The Dhoni-led CSK made a stunning comeback after serving out the two-year ban and clinched the IPL title last season.
Dhoni, who also led India to two World titles -- the World T20 in 2007 and the ODI World Cup in 2011, says, for him personally, match-fixing is a bigger crime than murder.
"Whatever I am today, whatever I have achieved is because of cricket. So the biggest crime that I can commit personally is not murder. It’s actually match-fixing because it doesn’t get restricted to me. If I am involved in such a thing, it will have a bigger impact.
"If people think a match is fixed based on the improbability of an outcome, then people lose their faith in cricket.
"In cricket, you have close finishes in limited-overs and Tests. There have been many surprising results where your mind simply refuses to believe the outcome. Fans then start attributing the result to match-fixing.
"I don’t think I will ever go through something tougher than this," he says, in the first episode of five-part documentary series Roar of the Lion.