CSK official confirms MS Dhoni’s farewell date ahead of the 2023 IPL season


MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja

As expected, MS Dhoni is all set to end his Indian Premier League (IPL) journey as a player in the upcoming 16th edition of the tournament. The marquee event will kick start with Chennai Super Kings (CSK) taking on defending champions Gujarat Titans in the opening game.

According to a report by InsideSport, if CSK ceases to reach the playoffs, Thala Dhoni will play his last IPL game at the Chepauk stadium in Chennai against Kolkata Knight Riders on May 14. However, the former India captain will surely look to bid adieu to the league on a high note by clinching the fifth trophy for his team and giving fans a reason to celebrate.

“Yes, it will be MS’s last season as a player. That is what we know so far. But of course, it’s his decision. He hasn’t officially communicated to the management that he will go into retirement. It is a special occasion for all CSK fans as IPL returns to Chennai. But it will be a sad moment if Dhoni plays his final season,” a CSK official told InsideSport.

Notably, Dhoni had previously expressed his desire to play his farewell match in front of the Chennai crowd at Chepauk.

The World Cup winning captain has been leading the CSK side since the inaugural season in 2008, excluding the two years suspension the franchise faced. In the last IPL season, Dhoni handed over the captaincy to Ravindra Jadeja, considering the future of the club post his retirement. But Jadeja failed to impress, and the 41-year-old Ranchi cricketer had to step into the role of skipper once again in the middle of the season.

The captaincy problem for the CSK still exists, and they will try their best to find a replacement for Dhoni as soon as possible. The two potential options the club would be looking at for the skipper’s post are Ben Stokes and Ruturaj Gaikwad. But Stokes’ busy schedule might rule him out of the race as he might also leave the CSK camp in the forthcoming season before the playoffs to lead the England Test side against Ireland.

Talking about Stokes and Gaikwad’s captaincy possibility, the CSK official further told InsideSport that if Stokes doesn’t get NOC next year, then it will be a problem.

“Of course, we are very happy getting Ben Stokes. He is not just a match-winner but also a great leader. It’s MS’s call on who he will name his successor. With foreign players leading in IPL, there is always the problem of combination. Plus, all-rounders are always tricky customers to handle. If Ben doesn’t get an NOC next year, it will be a problem. So, one can never rule out a young Ruturaj.”

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