Mahender Singh Dhoni wants to hang his kit bag as a Chennai Super Kings man, for whom he might pad up and don keeping gloves for some more matches. The former India and CSK skipper has expressed his desire to be in the CSK dressing room for some more time.
“I hope to play my last IPL game in Chennai. Maybe next year, maybe five years from now!,” said Dhoni. He also expressed his desire to announce his retirement forms of cricket as a CSK man.
Even the State of Tamil Nadu wants Dhoni to continue his association with what he has often termed as his second home. “Dhoni, we want you to lead CSK for many more years,” said the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, M.K. Stalin, turning to the former India captain, at the Kalaivanar Arangam on Saturday, states a report by Sportstar.
The CM was speaking at function hosted to celebrate CSK’s IPL triumph this year on the franchise owner India Cements’ 75th anniversary.
Stalin, who was the chief guest, revealed he had come to the event as a fan of Dhoni. “My grandsons and granddaughters, all admirers of Dhoni, are sitting here.”
“Dhoni is the heartbeat of CSK. Though he is from Ranchi, I consider him a Chennaiite,” said Stalin.
Dhoni and N. Srinivasan, vice-chairman and managing director, India Cements, presented Stalin with the IPL trophy won by CSK in 2021 “for the people of Chennai.”
The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister was presented with miniature replicas of all the trophies won by CSK, and a No. 7 shirt, signed by all the players with Stalin’s name on it.
Sharing his memories, former ICC and BCCI chief Srinivasan, said, “Before the first auction in IPL, I told the late V.B. Chandrasekar, who was managing the team then, ‘I want Dhoni at any cost’.
“It was one of the best decisions I have made.”
On how the name Chennai Super Kings came about, Srinivasan said, “The picture appeared in The Hindu in early 2008. K. Srikkanth throwing up the ball and asking people for names for the new franchise. The maximum number of names received was Chennai Super Kings.”
Calling Dhoni ‘Captain Cool,’ Srinivasan said how CSK bounced back this year to win the IPL after being written off by many. “Dhoni is an intense student of the game and the players. There are times when he has told me, ‘This player won’t fit in the CSK team’.”
Srinivasan stated, “The journey of CSK is a journey of faith and leadership.”
Calling CSK a family, Dhoni said, “It has grown beyond Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India and has fans throughout the world.” He noted, “I am a wanderer, lived in different places. When I came to Chennai, I was struck by its tradition and the sporting nature of the crowd.”