Dhoni joins in on CSK buzz: ‘The long wait is over’

“I would like to congratulate that CSK is back and next year you will be watching them play here. The long wait is over,” Dhoni told a sea of CSK fans at Chepauk on Saturday.

M.S. Dhoni and former Australian cricketer Matthew Hayden take a snap together at Chepauk.   -  PTI


It was the day for which cricket fans in the city had been waiting with bated breath for nearly two years.

As the delirious chants of Dhoni, Dhoni reverberated, the former India skipper, decked in a number 7 yellow T-shirt, recalled how special the ground was to him. “I don't think it can get any better. It is good to be here. Right in the middle where I can proudly say I played a lot of cricket. I made my Test debut and the crowd has been fantastic. They have given unconditional love and affection. I always say it is my second home.”

M.S. Dhoni takes part in a six-hitting contest as he kicks off the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) 2017, at the MAC stadium, in Chennai on Saturday.   -  PTI

  Speaking about the TNPL, Dhoni said, “It is amazing to give the guys such a platform. I know it is a state-wide domestic tournament but it gives them the opportunity to rub shoulders with the best players TN has to offer.”

“I feel a lot of them who had a successful last season would have gone home and realised ‘these are the areas I need to improve’ to be even more successful.” He added, “Few of them have been picked by the IPL franchises. But it is not only about that. It is about showcasing your talent and getting guidance from some of the best in the game and trying to make sure that you get a chance to play for TN and eventually get to play for India.”

While CSK was out of the IPL for the last two years after being suspended, Dhoni felt the team’s support has only kept growing. “I think the yellow is pretty special and I think we have done pretty well in the yellow. We were not here for two years, but our fan following has grown in the last couple of years. They have stayed with us and the love and affection was always there. It will get amplified when CSK return to play their first game over here,” he said.

With the middlemen (read presenters) out of the way, Dhoni walked up towards the crowd that had geared up in yellow — those who came in yellow were promised free entry, not that they needed a reason to wear one. “Thanks for the love and affection you have given over the years. Not only as a franchise player but even when we have come with the Indian team. The support has been fantastic. Even when we were going through a lean patch in a game and needed some outstanding performance from an individual, the support has always been there.”

“Thanks a lot for being true cricket fans and at the same time, I would like to congratulate that CSK is back and next year you will be watching them play here. The long wait is over.”

M.S. Dhoni, Matthew Hayden (R), Mohit Sharma (2nd R), and former BCCI president N. Srinivasan (L) at the inauguration ceremony of the Tamil Nadu Premier League, at the MAC stadium, in Chennai on Saturday.   -  PTI


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