Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni has confirmed on Friday that he will lead the four-time champions in IPL 2023 and stated it would be unfair to not say ‘thank you’ to Chennai and the CSK fans if he doesn’t say goodbye in front of them.
“Definitely,” said MS Dhoni during the coin toss against Rajasthan Royals in an IPL 2022 game when asked if he will be seen in Chennai Super Kings colours as a player next season. “It’s a simple reason: it will be unfair to not play in Chennai and say thank you,” added Dhoni.
Speculations were rife when MS Dhoni kept everyone in doubt with a cryptic answer as he returned as CSK captain midway into IPL 2022 after Ravindra Jadeja handed back the leadership duties to the talisman himself. Dhoni, who had led Chennai Super Kings since the inception of IPL, relinquished his captaincy just two days before IPL 2022 started.
During the toss on May 1 against Sunrisers Hyderabad, Dhoni had said, “You’ll definitely see me in the yellow jersey - whether it's this yellow jersey or some other yellow jersey you will have to wait and watch.”
The Indian Premier League is being fully held in India after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic and two-time India’s World Cup-winning captain believes the tournament will be played in different venues as it has been till 2019.
“Hopefully, next year there will be an opportunity where the teams will be travelling so it will be alike thank you to all the different places where we will be playing games at different venues,” added MS Dhoni before hinting his stay for the following season.
“Whether it will be my last year or not that’s a big question because you know we can’t really predict about something two years down the line, but definitely I’ll be working hard to come back strong next year,” said the CSK skipper. However, it is still unclear whether he will lead CSK or not in IPL 2023.
Meanwhile, CSK have opted to bat first after MS Dhoni won the toss in their final game of the season. Already out of IPL 2022 playoffs contention, CSK made just one change bringing Ambati Rayudu in place of Shivam Dube.
When asked if CSK could have given youngsters in the side a bit of game time in the final game of the season, Dhoni sounded like a true mentor. “Want to groom players but also give them enough opportunity to develop. Just for the sake of giving time to players, we aren't playing a lopsided team,” he added.
With just eight points from 13 games, Chennai Super Kings are ninth in the table. A win against Rajasthan Royals on Friday at Mumbai’s Brabourne Stadium won’t do many changes to the most consistent side in the history of IPL.
On the other hand, a win for Rajasthan Royals will seal the second spot for the Sanju Samson-led side. RR are placed third in IPL 2022 points table with 16 points. If they manage to win against CSK, they will leap second-placed Lucknow Super Giants on net run rate.