MS Dhoni and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) go back a long a way, 2008 to be precise when he was picked by the franchise in the first-ever Indian Premier League (IPL) player auction for $1.5 million. Since then, Dhoni has led the franchise in every season that they have been part of in the cash-rich T20 league, with three titles to their name.
CSK has never failed to reach the playoffs stage of the ten seasons that they have played in. 39-year-old Dhoni arguably is now loved and adored more in Chennai than his own home town of Ranchi. But time waits for no one and it's obvious he is now near the finishing line of his glittering cricket career.
It's unclear whether he would play again for India in international cricket having been away since the World Cup semi-final defeat to New Zealand in July, 2019. Fans and experts continue to speculate his future at the highest level but so far he has not revealed his cards on retirement.
For now there are no such worries for the CSK franchise and its fans, as the chief executive officer Kasi Viswanathan on Tuesday (August 11) played down talks of him moving on from the franchise in the near future.
He told India Today, "We don't worry about him at all. Yes. We can expect MS Dhoni to be part of both (IPL 2020 and 2021) and probably for even the next year. 2022,"
"I am getting updates through the media only, saying he has been training in Jharkhand in indoor nets. But we don't have to worry about the skipper, boss. We don't worry about him at all. He knows his responsibilities and he will take care of himself and the team." he added.
Dhoni will be making his return to competitive cricket with the IPL 2020 in UAE from September 19. CSK wishes to host a short camp for their players in Chennai from August 16 and have asked the local government for the necessary permission. The team is reportedly set to leave for UAE on a chartered plane on August 21.
The 13th edition of the tournament will be played entirely in UAE due to the rapid growth in COVID-19 cases in the country in past few months. BCCI has got the go-ahead from the Indian government to host the tournament outside India.
(With India Today inputs)