After serving a two-year ban from the Indian Premier League (IPL), Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) are all set to make a grand re-entry to the country's cash-rich T20 league next season. The two teams will replace Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) and Gujarat Lions (GL) who completed their two-year contract before being denied extension in the tournament.
While the fans of both the franchises will be happy to see their sides return to the fold, it's the Chennai camp that will be more excited, especially after seeing MS Dhoni's recent post on Instagram.
In what appeared to be a cryptic message, Dhoni shared a photo of himself wearing his famous 'No. 7' Chennai jersey with 'Thala' (which means 'leader' in Tamil) written on the back. Clearly, Dhoni was marking the return of CSK to the IPL, but his photo in the yellow jersey also hinted at his probable desire to rekindle his love with the 'Yellow Army'.
Right after the conclusion of the IPL 10, Chennai had announced its return in the next edition. CSK's announcement kicked off the speculations whether Mahendra Singh Dhoni will be donning the 'Yellow Jersey' again and,most importantly, whether he'll be leading the team again or not.
According to George John, one of the directors of Chennai Super Kings Cricket Limited, the management is already considering to bring Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who had led them with distinction, on board.
"If we are given an option of retaining a player, it will definitely be Dhoni. We haven't yet discussed with Dhoni as his contract with Pune Supergiant ends later this year. However, we will speak to him in the future," he was quoted as saying by the TOI.
While Chennai was serving the two-year ban, Dhoni was roped in by Pune. After a disappointing debut season, Pune replaced Dhoni with Steve Smith as their new captain for the recently-concluded IPL season.
After the completion of 10 seasons, all the franchises will have to release their players to pave way for a fresh auction. Dhoni, a crowd favourite in Chennai, will obviously be the No. 1 target for CSK. And, going by his recent Instagram post, it seems like Dhoni, too, wants a reunion with Chennai.
CSK have been one of the most consistent teams in IPL history, winning the competition in 2010 and 2011 and ending up as runners-up in 2008, 2012, 2013 and 2015. On the two other occasions that they have played the IPL, they have managed at least the last-four finish. They have also won the Champions League T20 twice (2010 and 2014).
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