MS Dhoni has announced he will not be retiring after leading Chennai Super Kings to their fifth IPL title with a win over Gujarat Titans in the final.
Dhoni, 41, hoped to return for next year’s tournament, although he did admit “a lot depends on the body.”
After a rain-affected final that ended at almost 2am after already being delayed to the reserve day, Ravindra Jadeja sealed a thrilling DLS win over by hitting the final two balls of the game for six and four. Dhoni was dismissed first ball in the chase, his first in the IPL since 2015, but did pull of a lightning-quick stumping to dismiss Orange Cap winner Shubman Gill.
While many expected the Dhoni to retire after the final, he assured the fans that he was keen to be back next season: “Circumstantially, this is the best time for me to announce my retirement.
“But the amount of love and affection I have been shown wherever I have been this year, the easy thing for me to say would be ‘thank you very much’, but the tough thing for me is to work hard for another nine months and play at least one more season of IPL.”
As the Ahmedabad crowd cheered loudly, Dhoni continued: “A lot depends on the body, I have six or seven months to decide. It will be more like a gift from my side, it’s not easy for me but that’s a gift, the way they have shown their love and affection, that’s something I need to do for them.”
When Harsha Bhogle suggested that Dhoni might have shown a rare display of emotion, the CSK captain agreed: “You do get emotional, for the simple fact that it’s the last part of my career, and I think it started over here, you know playing the first game I just walked down and the full house was chanting my name.”
“My eyes filled with water and I just stood there in the dugout for a while and I took my time and realised I want to enjoy it, and not take that pressure. It was the same thing in Chennai, it was my last time over there but it will be good to come back and play here whenever I can.”
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