The fans and think tank of Chennai Super Kings had never imagined that they would have to play their home games in the ongoing Indian Premier League outside the Chepauk stadium. But the CSK camp received a shock when the BCCI shifted their home matches to Pune owing to the protest over the Cauvery issue in Chennai.
While cricket experts had felt it would be a tough task for the MS Dhoni-led side to acclimatize in Pune conditions, the groundsmen at the MCA Stadium did a brilliant job to make them feel at home. CSK won 5 out of their 6 games in Pune and qualified for the playoffs as the second team on the points table.
On Sunday (May 20), CSK played their last match at the MCA Stadium and defeated Kings XI Punjab by 5 wickets. They finished the league stage with 18 points from 14 games.
After the win against KXIP, CSK skipper Dhoni presented the Pune groundsmen with a cheque worth INR 20,000. Moreover, they also received a framed photo from the legendary Chennai captain – clicked earlier in the season.
Ahead of the clash between CSK and KXIP, a source in the Chennai team management told CricketNext: "Dhoni will meet the groundsmen at the end of the game tonight and gift them Rs 20,000 each and also give them a photo with the CSK skipper that has been framed for each and every groundsmen. They did a great job and their effort needs to be duly rewarded.”
In their adopted home, CSK played their first game against the Rajasthan Royals and won the contest by 64 runs. Chennai lost their next match against the Mumbai Indians by 8 wickets and then their winning juggernaut started in Pune.
CSK first beat Delhi Daredevils by 13 runs and then followed it up with 6 wickets and 8 wickets victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad respectively.