IPL swan song for « Captain Cool »? MS Dhoni wants T20 farewell match in Chennai, congratulates fans on unwavering support

Dhoni (CSK)Dhoni played his last ODI for India at Ranchi, adding that with any luck his last T20 would be in Chennai – whether in 2022 or five years from now. (File / Chennai Super Kings)

MS Dhoni has put to bed speculation about his retirement from the Indian Premier League (IPL) and has confirmed that his last T20 game will be in Chennai.

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

Dhoni played his last ODI for India at Ranchi, adding that with any luck his last T20 would be in Chennai – whether in 2022 or five years from now.

Dhoni had kept his retirement option open when pushed by broadcasters during the IPL season. A Chennai Super Kings official previously told the Indian Express that Dhoni’s farewell match would take place in front of a packed house, the Chepauk.

Speaking about his association with Chennai, the ICC Cricket World Cup-winning captain said he was a bit of a wanderer. His parents were originally 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 the Chennai Super Kings would select him, adding that coming to Chennai helped him understand a different culture.

Speaking about the Chennai Super Kings fan base, Dhoni said it goes beyond the borders of Tamil Nadu and India and praised them for their sportsmanship. He also praised the team’s fans for their steadfast support of the franchise on social media when they were banned for two years.

Dhoni also spoke at length about the 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 true character of the franchise. Sailing has been going well since 2008, Dhoni said. This time the players stood up and kept their word.

The India Cements-owned franchise rebounded from last year’s disappointment to claim its fourth IPL title.

Highlighting Dhoni’s leadership, India Cements vice president and general manager N Srinivasan said any player will give their all under Dhoni, no matter how talented they are.

India Cricket Supervisory Board (BCCI) Secretary Jay Shah also spoke at the event and revealed that the former Indian captain took on the role of mentor for the national team during the ICC T20 World Cup without paying a dime.

While Dhoni’s form as a drummer in recent years, especially in the last IPL, has come under criticism, Tamil Nadu’s chief minister, MP Stalin, dismissed them and said he wanted him to lead the Chennai Super Kings for many more seasons.

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