By India Today Sports Desk: MS Dhoni, the Chennai Super Kings captain, guided his team to their fifth IPL title. Instead of retiring on a high note, he decided to come back for another season if his body permitted.
Dhoni admitted that retiring after winning would be ideal but wanted to give his fans another season, even if it required hard work on his body for nine more months.
“If you see circumstantially this is the best time for me to announce retirement,” Dhoni said at the presentation after winning the final against Gujarat Titans. “But the amount of love and affection I’ve been shown wherever I’ve been this year, the easy thing for me would be to say, ‘Thank you very much’. But the tough thing for me is to work hard for another nine months and come back and play at least one more season of IPL. But a lot depends on the body, I have six-seven months to decide and it will be more like a gift from my side [to the fans]. It’s not easy for me but the way they’ve shown their love and affection, that’s something I need to do for them.
“You do get emotional for a simple fact that it’s the last part of my career and I think it started over here when I was playing the first game [of IPL 2023]. I just walked out and the full house was chanting my name. My eyes filled with [tears] and I just stood there in the dugout for a while, and I took my time and I realised that I want to enjoy it and not take the pressure. I think it was the same thing in Chennai, when I played my last game there, but it will be good to come back and play whatever I can.”
DHONI NEEDS TO MANAGE HIS BODY
Dhoni’s former CSK teammate Robin Uthappa stated that the ‘Captain Cool’ needs to go back and figure out what he needs to do to ensure his body is fit. Dhoni played all the matches of the IPL 2023 despite suffering from a left knee injury. He made the IPL 2023 worth watching for his fans with his 10 sixes. He scored 104 runs off just 57 balls at a strike rate of 182.45 in the tournament.
“The thing also isâæ he has not stopped enjoying the game. He has the most fun when he is on the field when he is keeping. His knee, he knows he has an injury. It’s not a matter of enjoyment or a lack thereof. It’s actually about his body being fit enough and he wants to play. It’s about going back and figuring out what he needs to do.. Maybe surgery or rehab. Figure that out and then he will take a call,” Uthappa said on JioCinema.
CSK clinched a record-equalling fifth IPL title in the rain-affected 2023 final, defeating Gujarat Titans by five wickets. The summit showdown, which was pushed to the reserve day due to heavy rain, witnessed an electrifying performance by Sai Sudharsan, who smashed 96 off just 47 balls, propelling the Titans to a commanding total of 214 for four.
However, rain interrupted play, and CSK was set a revised target of 171 in 15 overs. In a nail-biting finish, CSK managed to chase down the target on the last ball, thanks to Ravindra Jadeja’s heroics (15* off 6).