At Chepauk, Dhoni is the Super King

At the home of Chennai Super Kings, the fans couldn’t stay away from cheering for their 'thala', Dhoni.

Fans wearing Team India jerseys that had 'Dhoni' written on them, at the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, during the first ODI between India and Australia, on Sunday, September 17.

The long queue outside the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium was hard to miss. For a moment, it looked like the usual thing — the fans waiting for their turn to enter the stadium for the first ODI. But a closer look told you a different story.

It wasn’t a queue to get inside the venue, rather the cricket enthusiasts of Chennai and suburbs gathered near the gate to buy Team India jerseys, that had ‘Dhoni’ written on them. After all, at the home of Chennai Super Kings, the fans couldn’t stay away from cheering for their thala.

For that, they were ready to shell out big money. While an average ‘Dhoni’ jersey was sold for Rs. 200, the premium ones were priced somewhere between Rs. 700 and Rs. 1,000. And the MSD fans were more than willing to spend that amount for their skipper.

“We have got jerseys of other players as well, but the demand is high for the ones that has ‘Dhoni’ written on them. We didn’t think these jerseys would sell more,” one of the vendors, Selvanathan, told Sportstar. The middle-aged gentleman, who usually comes with jerseys and flags to the Chepauk stadium from Perambur during international games, initially thought Virat Kohli’s jerseys would have more takers. “I was wrong,” he said, before getting busy with the sales.

The stands too were filled with fans donning Dhoni jerseys. While a few ‘Virat’ and ‘Rohit’ jerseys could also be seen, they were far less in number.

With Chennai Super Kings back into the fold for next year’s Indian Premier League (IPL), the chances of Dhoni returning to the side as the skipper has also increased. “The demand for tickets are also higher this time, and it is mostly because of Dhoni. The excitement is quite high, with him around,” one of the organising committee members said.

While it was expected that dedicated Chennai Super Kings fans like Sarvanan Hari would hit the stadium to cheer for their thala, what remained interesting, was the fact that even the younger crowd cheered out loud for Dhoni as the erstwhile skipper walked into the stadium to warm-up before the game.

Like it or loathe it, Dhoni remains a Super King at Chepauk!