IPL swansong for ‘Captain Cool’? MS Dhoni wants his farewell T20 match to be in Chennai, lauds fans for unflinching support

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November 21, 2021 11:57 AM

Dhoni’s association with the Chennai Super Kings began with the first IPL in 2008, but his association with Chennai began when he made his Test debut there.

Dhoni (CSK)Dhoni played his last ODI for India in Ranchi, adding that hopefully his last T20 would be in Chennai — be it in 2022 or in five years. (File/Chennai Super Kings)

MS Dhoni has put to bed speculations regarding his retirement from the Indian Premier League (IPL) and confirmed that his last T20 match would be in Chennai.

The former India skipper, who was speaking at The Champions Call event to celebrate the Chennai Super Kings’ victory in this year’s IPL, said he had always planned his cricket.

Dhoni played his last ODI for India in Ranchi, adding that hopefully his last T20 would be in Chennai — be it in 2022 or in five years.

Dhoni had kept his retirement option open when prodded by broadcasters during the IPL season. A Chennai Super Kings official had earlier told The Indian Express that Dhoni’s farewell game would be at in front of a full house the Chepauk.

Speaking on his association with Chennai, the ICC Cricket World Cup-winning captain said he was a bit of a wanderer. His parents hailed from Uttarakhand, but settled in Ranchi, where he was born. He then went to Kharagpur in Bengal for a job.

Dhoni’s association with the Chennai Super Kings began with the first IPL in 2008, but his association with Chennai began when he made his Test debut there. He said he didn’t know that the Chennai Super Kings would select him, before adding that coming to Chennai helped him understand a different culture.

Speaking about the Chennai Super Kings’ fanbase, Dhoni said it went beyond the borders of Tamil Nadu and India and lauded them for their sportsmanship. He also hailed the team’s fans for unflinchingly supporting the franchise on social media when they were banned for two years.

Dhoni also spoke at length about IPL 2020 when the Chennai Super Kings failed to reach the playoff stage for the first time. He said 2020 gave them the opportunity to test the franchise’s true character. It was smooth sailing since 2008, Dhoni said. This time, the players stood up and walked the talk.

The India Cements-owned franchise bounced back from last year’s disappointment to win their fourth IPL title.

Highlighting Dhoni’s leadership, India Cements Vice Chairman and Managing Director N Srinivasan said any player would give his all under Dhoni, irrespective of their talent.

Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Secretary Jay Shah also spoke at the event and revealed that the former India captain took on the mentor role for the national team at the ICC T20 World Cup without charging a penny.

While Dhoni’s form as a batsman in recent years, especially during the last IPL, has come in for criticism, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin swept those aside and said they wanted him to lead the Chennai Super Kings for many more seasons.

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