Fans will be right behind CSK again, says Hussey

The former Australia cricketer, Michael Hussey, says the fans of Tamil Nadu will welcome Chennai Super Kings when it returns to the Indian Premier League (IPL), next year.

Michael Hussey, in town for the recently concluded Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL), is excited at the prospect of his former Indian Premier League (IPL) team - Chennai Super Kings - returning to action in the cash-rich league.   -  K. V. Srinivasan

Former Australian cricketer Michael Hussey, in town for the recently concluded Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL), is excited at the prospect of his former Indian Premier League (IPL) team - Chennai Super Kings - returning to action in the cash-rich league. “It’s great to have both teams back — Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings,” Hussey said on Monday.

The franchises completed their two-year suspensions from the IPL last month and are set to feature in next season. “I have been here in Chennai for the last few weeks and have been talking to a lot of fans; they’re very excited. Obviously CSK has a huge following here. It has been a shame that they (fans) have been starved of IPL cricket in the last two years, but now it's going to be an exciting comeback. I am sure the fans will be right behind the team again,” the former Super King batsman said.

As for regaining lost ground after a two year-long hiatus from the league, Hussey reckons, “It is going to be an interesting challenge to see if the team can get back up there straightaway or if it takes time.”

Chennai Super Kings, who won the IPL title two times under the leadership of the then India captain M.S. Dhoni, has had its share of on-field success and controversies, and the Western Australian player says, “The management will have to work hard to put together a strong team again. Let's see how that goes but it is exciting to have them back.”

“I think even for the rivalries – there are some great ones that CSK built up – with Royal Challengers Bengaluru, Mumbai Indians , Kolkata Knight Riders. It will be good to see those kind of matches again. The fans will love it,” he added.

His team-mate at CSK, Dhoni, has been under the pump lately for his declining finishing ability, but Hussey feels the 36-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman may play the 2019 World Cup in England. “If he (Dhoni) wants to, there's no reason why he can’t,” Hussey said.

According to him, “He (Dhoni) has obviously been a great player and a great captain for India for a long time. As long as he is still contributing, I don’t see why he can't continue,” while adding that, “Those things are left up to the player, management and the selectors. They've to make the call. I think if he has the desire, then he's good enough to get there.”

With Cricket Australia and Australian Cricketers' Association finally reaching an agreement over the protracted pay dispute, the focus has now shifted to Australia's high voltage limited-overs series against India, starting September. And Hussey, who has three centuries and 39 half-centuries from 185 ODIs, is eagerly looking forward to it.

“I think it's going to be a great series, two heavyweight teams really,” he said.