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Indian Premier League 2023

When an emotional MS Dhoni cried at a Chennai Super Kings team dinner during IPL 2018

Dhoni IPL
by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

MS Dhoni teared up and was emotional when Chennai Super Kings made a comeback to the IPL in 2018 after they had been suspended for two years, narrates Harbhajan Singh.

The franchise had been banned in 2016 and 2017 for its alleged involvement in a betting scandal. During this period, the IPL introduced two new teams – Rising Pune Supergiants and Gujarat Lions. Dhoni, who has been associated with CSK since the inception of the league in 2008, played for RPS during the two years. He led the team in 2016 before being axed from the role the next year.

In 2018, Dhoni was reunited with CSK as skipper and, as Harbhajan reveals, it was an emotional comeback, with the India great in tears during a preseason team dinner.


Speaking on Star Sports, Harbhajan, who was also in CSK in 2018, said: “There’s a story from 2018 when Chennai returned after a ban of two years. We were all gathered for a team dinner. I have always heard that ‘men don’t cry’ but MS Dhoni was emotional and was crying during the dinner. I don’t think a lot of people know about the incident.”

Imran Tahir, who was also playing for CSK that year, chipped in and said: “I was also there. It was a very emotional moment for him. That was the moment I understood how much this team means to him and how close CSK is to his heart. He loves the franchise like his family. It was very emotional for all of us.”

CSK went on to win the title that year, and Tahir says that the triumph had a lot to do with Dhoni’s passion. “It was largely due to his love for the side that we went on to win. That year, we were also known as the team that had signed older players and then we won the title despite that. I was also included in that, so we were proud of our achievements.”

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