Around 7 in the evening today (May 20), cricket-crazy fans will have a definitive answer to one overwhelming question, about a certain MS Dhoni and his tryst with the great Indian Premier League (IPL), and to some extent the Chennai Super Kings.
A true great of the game, Mahendra Singh Dhoni is already 40. But the former India captain is forced to lead Chennai Super Kings again in their title defence, after a brief hiatus -- interspersed with their failed attempt to install Ravindra Jadeja as the skipper. Then, everything is back to square one. There's one Chennai Super Kings, and there is one MS Dhoni.
Now, with Chennai Super Kings playing their final match of the IPL 2022 season, that overwhelming question has already started haunting his most loyal fans and their conduits in various social media platforms and newsrooms. Will it be it? Will this be the last time the great man turns up for a great team?
Well, as Paulo Coelho wrote: "Don't waste your time with explanations, people only hear what they want to hear."
So, what to hear? Maybe, we can all tune in at the toss ahead of the Rajasthan Royals vs Chennai Super Kings match at Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai. Then and there, we can hear what we want to hear; for it's sure, MS Dhoni will once again keep everyone guessing.
Also, there's something called "suspension of disbelief". Who's brave enough, sane enough to let go of the Dhoni craze?
Meanwhile, here are some samples to taste and whet your MS Dhoni appetite:
"I have always planned my cricket. The last home game in ODI version was at my hometown in Ranchi. So, hopefully, my last t20 will be in Chennai. Whether it's next year or 5 years later."— MSDian™ (@ItzThanesh) May 20, 2022
Just a reminder : @MSDhoni ! 🙂👍🏻#MSDhoni #IPL2022 #WhistlePodu
#MSDhoni : You will get the opportunity to bid me farewell. Hopefully we will come in Chennai and play my last game & meet all the fans."— MSDian™ (@ItzThanesh) May 20, 2022
We know you are a man of your words. Hope you will always keep the promise. @MSDhoni 🙂👍🏻#IPL2022 #WhistlePodu #CSK
For now, for one T20 match, MS Dhoni will be there to lead Chennai Super Kings. In reality, tonight's match may be his last outing as a competitive player.
But don't just write off Dhoni. He is still fit and hungry. And if CSK fail to find a suitable captain/leader ahead of the IPL 2023, the legend may stick around. Next year, he will be 41 though.
Batting great Sunil Gavaskar hopes this isn't the last time Dhoni plays for Chennai Super Kings. He told Star Sports, "Look at the way he's played this season. He's still keen and enthusiastic about the game.
"When you are not sure about your future you tend to lose your intensity on the pitch. But we've seen him running between the overs from one end to the other keenly, he's still fit and taking those quick singles and doubles while batting. All this only hints that 'Definitely Not'."
Gavaskar also added that if at all it is Dhoni's last game in the IPL then he should bat higher in the order and draw curtains to an illustrious career on a terrific note.
"He said that he'll be seen in the CSK yellow next year, whether as a player or as support staff we don't know yet. But if it is the last time (we are going to see him play for the franchise), I hope he bats up in the order to give us something to remember, just like that six (he hit) on April 2 2011," Gavaskar said.