Chennai Super Kings is likely to start preparations for the 16th edition of the Indian Premier League from March 3 at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium, with captain M.S. Dhoni set to arrive in the city the previous day.
The upcoming season of the IPL may be, in all likelihood, the last season that Dhoni features in as a player. CSK, which finished ninth last season, will take on defending champion Gujarat Titans in the season opener on March 31.
CSK will have to deal with the absence of a few of its key players in 2023.
Ben Stokes, the side’s ₹16.25 crore signing and a potential future skipper, confirmed on Wednesday that he will be unavailable for the latter stages of the league due to international commitments. He will be leaving early to join his national side for the one-off Ireland Test at Lord’s on June 1 and prepare for the Ashes series which gets underway on June 16.
To add insult to injury, New Zealand pacer Kyle Jamieson may have to miss the entirety of the season as well due to the recurrence of a back injury.
In this edition, the teams are being split into two groups with each side set to play 14 group-stage matches. The franchises will be taking on each team in their own group only once and the teams in the other group twice, once at home and then away.
CSK features in Group B alongside Punjab Kings, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Gujarat Titans. Mumbai Indians, Rajasthan Royals, Kolkata Knight Riders, Delhi Capitals and Lucknow Super Giants have been pooled together in the other group - A.
(With inputs from S. Dipak Ragav)
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