Tuesday, November 28, 2023
HomeIPL News'I think Dhoni will play next year' - CSK CEO

‘I think Dhoni will play next year’ – CSK CEO

MS Dhoni has kept everyone guessing over his retirement from the IPL but the Chennai Super Kings management thinks their talisman captain, reverently called by the fans as ‘Thala’, will continue for another season.
“That is my guess, hunch,” franchise CEO Kasi Viswanathan told Cricbuzz after CSK’s game against Kolkata Knight Riders, which is, technically, the season’s last home game for the franchise. “He has not told us either way but the way he played and led the side, I personally think he will play next year as well,” Viswanathan said.
Dhoni has a knack of surprising fans with his retirement calls. His superannuation from Test cricket was announced bang in the middle of a series in Australia in 2014, taking everyone, including the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) officials and touring teammates, by surprise.
After keeping everyone on the tenterhooks for a long time, he hung up his gloves from international cricket one fine August evening in 2020. He even chose the timing of the announcement, which was 7.29 PM. It was later revealed that the time was the sunset time of that day, which was August 15. “No better day than the Independence Day to leave international cricket,” he would tell friends later.
Dhoni had previously stated that he would play his last IPL match at home in Chennai. On Sunday night, CSK, who returned to base after three years, played their last home game but there is every chance they may have another opportunity to turn up at the Chepauk again later. With the stadium getting to host the two play-off games, technically CSK have another shot at the ground.
With 15 points from 13 games, they can qualify for the play-offs, unless there is an unexpected turn of results in the last round of league games. CSK play their last game on Saturday afternoon in Delhi. For the record, the CSK players went around Chepauk on Sunday night in a lap of honour for the fans.
As a player, Dhoni did no harm to his reputation this IPL, he led the side well and succeeded in extracting the best out of a few rookies, like Matheesha Pathirana and Tushar Deshpande. He even inspired players like Ajinkya Rahane and Shivam Dube to deliver heroic performances, something that were missing when the Mumbai duo were with other teams.
Personally, he defied a dodgy knee and kept wickets well and although he could manage only 98 runs, he smashed 10 sixes and did not allow the strike rate (of nearly 200) to dip, a key requirement for one batting at No 7 or 8. His presence drew large crowds at every stadium with CSK fans unfailingly outnumbering the home team supporters when the team travelled. In fact, a Dhoni mania swept across the IPL centres. He will be 42 next year, but he definitely made a case for another season and what is more, the CSK management wants him to continue too



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