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MS Dhoni to leave CSK ahead of IPL 2021? The franchise responds

Dhoni has missed the tour of the West Indies and the home series against South Africa and Bangladesh.

MS Dhoni
MS Dhoni. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

It is not easy to know what is inside Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s head. The ace wicket-keeper-batsman has not yet called it quits from international cricket and kept his teammates, management and supporters guessing. Questions are also doing rounds over the former India captain’s stint in the Indian Premier League (IPL), a tournament he has been playing in without a break since its inception in 2008. One leading newspaper has reported that Dhoni has plans to play in the IPL for two more seasons — 2020 and 2021.

A leading news organization came out with a story on Wednesday with the headline: ‘MS Dhoni Wants To Leave CSK? Former Captain Could Join Rival Team In IPL 2021’ to add fuel to the speculation. It cited a daily that had quoted sources confirming that Dhoni would be playing the 2021 season of the IPL.

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He has also reiterated his commitment to the Chennai Super Kings (CSK), the franchise he is closely identified with. Dhoni has led the CSK 10 times and won them the crown thrice — in 2010, 2011 and 2018.

On five occasions, the CSK ended up as the runners-up — in 2008, 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2019. In 2016 and 2017, CSK did not play the IPL because of a ban and Dhoni went to Rising Pune Supergiants those two editions. The report also cited others to say that Dhoni has asked the CSK to release him using the ‘Right to Match’ option and buy him back at a lower price.

Chennai Super Kings come up with a funny reply

However, CSK were not happy to see the article’s headline and in response to its tweeting the piece, the Chennai franchise said: “No, the nation knows that!”

Dhoni has been on a sabbatical since India’s semifinal exit from the ODI World Cup in England in July. The former skipper has missed the tour of the West Indies and the home series against South Africa and Bangladesh. Earlier, reports had also surfaced that Dhoni will take a call on his international future after next year’s IPL.

CSK, who finished as the runners-up in the previous season, released only five players ahead of the IPL 2020 auction. Regarded as one of the most successful IPL franchises, CSK will be hoping to clinch their fourth IPL trophy in the upcoming season.

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