What future for MS Dhoni at CSK?


The CSK-RCB blockbuster during Bengaluru Dhoni's last in the IPL?

The CSK-RCB blockbuster during Bengaluru Dhoni's last in the IPL? © BCCI

Will MS Dhoni play in Indian Premier League next year? Even the top brass of the Chennai Super Kings franchise remains uncertain. “He didn’t tell us anything,” franchise CEO Kasi Viswanathan told Cricbuzz on Sunday. “He doesn't tell us such things anyway. He just decides.” So, whether he will don the yellow jersey again remains speculative until Dhoni decides to make an announcement himself.

Dhoni, however, will only have next season to decide his future. With the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) expected to announce a retention policy soon, Dhoni and the franchise need to make a decision before the retention announcement deadline. Although there is still time before the deadline, it is not much. They might have time until November.

Dhoni did not discuss his future after the match against Royal Challengers Bengaluru at the Chinnaswamy Stadium on Saturday evening. He took the first flight back to Ranchi from Bangalore on Sunday morning. At some point, Dhoni might have a one-on-one conversation with N Srinivasan, but in the current season, he is said to have met the CSK owner only once. However, they may have had regular conversations.

Insiders and those with insight into the situation say the big question of whether he plays or not will depend on his fitness. Many CSK members, including head coach Stephen Fleming, said Dhoni played the season with the discomfort of constant, nagging pain. Despite this, Dhoni played all 14 matches and batted at different positions, scoring 161 runs at an average of over 53. However, Dhoni's value to CSK and the IPL goes beyond the numbers.

Some insiders claim that Srinivasan has plans for the franchise and that the CSK management may decide at some point to delink the franchise from India Cements, the company that owns it. In such a case, Dhoni's role could change. What that will be, of course, depends on Dhoni and Srinivasan. He could well become a mentor if he decides not to play.

“I think this is it. I believe this will be the last time MS Dhoni plays. It will definitely not be the last time we see MS Dhoni. I would be very surprised if he doesn't mentor or do part of the CSK family in an official capacity,” Matthew Hayden, a former CSK player who is familiar with the management of the franchise, told Star Sports.

“I don't think it's his last match. I just don't see him wanting to end on that note. He looked a bit frustrated, even when he got out. It's very different from MS Dhoni, he just wanted to qualify and finish in style but you never know that with MS Dhoni, maybe he will come back next year,” Ambati Rayudu, another CSK player close to the management, told the same channel. of the franchise.

However, the CSK decision-makers want him to continue. “The way he batted, he can surely continue,” Viswanathan said. “But that will be up to him.” Dhoni has hit 13 sixes this season.

If, like last time, the BCCI allows only four retentions with a maximum of three Indians, the CSK retentions could well be Ruturaj Gaikwad and Ravindra Jadeja. Yes, Jadeja – the franchise has ironed out all the issues with the all-rounder, and Jadeja is believed to be all for it. The third Indian could be Dhoni, if he agreed, but not necessarily in that order. Otherwise, it could be Shivam Dube or a foreign player. Sri Lankan slinger Matheesha Pathirana will, however, not be let go, a CSK insider has confirmed.

There is a lot of speculation about retention numbers and potential Right To Match (RTM) options. The BCCI will discuss with the owners before taking a decision. Among owners and franchises, opinions vary widely, with some wanting as many as eight retentions and others as few as none. So it will be some time before we know Dhoni's future at Chennai Super Kings, but not too long.

© cricbuzz


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