'Interesting that MS Dhoni can play for CSK, but can’t be a mentor of their CSA T20 league team'- Aakash Chopra

CSK are owners of the Johannesburg franchise in the CSA T20 League.

MS Dhoni for CSK | BCCI-IPLFormer India opener Aakash Chopra shared his opinion on the reports of former India captain and current Chennai Super Kings (CSK) skipper MS Dhoni not becoming the mentor of the CSK-owned franchise in the upcoming CSA T20 League which begins next year.

An Indian Express report had suggested that CSK cannot use MS Dhoni’s services as the mentor of their CSA T20 League team until and unless he retires from the IPL.  Dhoni has confirmed that he will play the IPL 2023 and captain the yellow army in the tournament.

It has already been reported that Stephen Fleming, the coach of the CSK team for the better part of their existence in the IPL, will also coach their new team in the South African league.

Aakash Chopra, in a video on his YouTube channel, gave his views on his dilemma, suggesting Dhoni can be the mentor of both teams.

"It is a very interesting story that MS Dhoni cannot be a mentor of Chennai's South Africa franchise. It's a peculiar situation that Stephen Fleming can coach both teams but if MS Dhoni plays from one side, he cannot be the mentor of the other. I think he can be the mentor of both teams," he said.

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This stems from BCCI never allowing any of its players to play in any other league apart from IPL. For a player to play in any other league, they have to retire from international, Indian domestic, and IPL cricket to obtain a NOC, something which Yuvraj Singh and many others have done to play in Canada T20 League and Legends League cricket.

"There is a simple rule which needs to be followed, if you want to associate yourself as an Indian player, you will have to snap all your ties with the BCCI. You have taken retirement from international cricket, so there is no issue there, but you will also have to bid goodbye to playing in the IPL," Chopra said.

Multiple IPL team owners have not only bought teams in the CSA T20 League but also in the upcoming UAE’s ILT20 tournament.

Talking about the same, Chopra said: "The way the IPL teams are expanding, that's a beautiful story. In the CSA league, there are six teams and all have Indian owners. Lucknow Super Giants, Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians, Rajasthan Royals, Delhi Capitals, and Sunrisers Hyderabad - all have teams there.

Even though the formula is four overseas players and seven local players but all the stakeholders of the league are Indians. You are expecting a lot of revenue to come from India. So India is actually now going to call the shots in the CSA league as well."


By Jatin Sharma - 18 Aug, 2022

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