The Chennai Super Kings management is confident that the 2021 IPL will not be MS Dhoni’s swansong as a cricketer and the team captain will play at least one more season before saying goodbye in front of ‘home’ fans in Chepauk.
“I don’t think so,” said a CSK insider, when asked whether this IPL could be Dhoni’s last as a cricketer. “Think he would like to play his last game at Chepauk, which is very likely,” he said Naveen Bharat.
This follows mixed cues from the former India captain over the past two days. At an event of India Cements on Tuesday, Dhoni hints that he will continue to lead CSK in the next season as well. When asked by a fan, he had said: “When it comes to farewell, you can come and watch me play for CSK and this could be my farewell game. Then you will have the opportunity to send me off. Hopefully we will come to Chennai and play our last match there and (I) be able to meet all the fans.
On Thursday, however, ahead of CSK’s game against Punjab Kings, when Star Sports commentator Danny Morrison asked About Dhoni’s future plans at the tossThe CSK captain replied: “You will see me in yellow next season but whether I will play for CSK, you never know. There are a lot of uncertainties coming; two new teams coming in… we don’t know what.” What are the retention rules and so on.
Two new teams will join the IPL next year and a full auction is scheduled. IPL Governing Council will come up with a retention policy; How many players will each franchise be allowed to retain, at what price tag. According to a source, Dhoni has kept the CSK management in the loop regarding his future plans.
Dhoni retired from international cricket on 15 August last year but went ahead as a CSK player. However, as a batsman, he has been a dim shadow of his past for the past few seasons. This year in particular has been down to 96 runs – paring 13.71 in 14 matches with a strike-rate of 95.04. His career T20 strike rate is 134.18. But he has again taken his team to another IPL playoff. Also, the 40-year-old has captained his team to three IPL titles.
Dhoni does not have an employee-employer relationship with his franchisee. Last year, during an interaction with this paper, CSK supremo and former BCCI president N Srinivasan spoke about how it was entirely up to Dhoni to decide to stay on as a CSK player. “He can play for CSK as long as he wants,” said Srinivasan, adding: “I don’t know how the bond between him and Tamil Nadu and Chennai developed. In the initial season of the IPL, he used to come, in motorbike (outside). ) used to go. People took him. One of the reasons for CSK’s success under Dhoni is that he never thinks ahead of the match. He never gets distracted.”