'All said and done...': MS Dhoni issues latest update on his retirement
MS Dhoni left yet another hint that the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) could be his last assignment in competitive cricket. Having earmarked the return to Chennai and playing infront of Chennai Super Kings' (CSK) passionate fanbase as his potential farewell ground last year, the franchise's legendary skipper indicated IPL 2023 could be it for him.
Ever since his international retirement prior to IPL 2020, each edition of the league has begun with a question looming on Dhoni's CSK future. At the fag end of that tournament, when commentator Danny Morrison asked if CSK's final game is Dhoni's farewell match, the legend said the famed, "Definitely not!!".
He played through the IPL 2022 in Maharashtra and said during the tournament that he still wishes to return to Chepauk and thank the crowd in person for all their love and support throughout his journey, indicating that is how he wishes to go.
Staying put on those words, after CSK's league stage triumph over Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) on Friday (April 21), MS Dhoni said during the post-match presentation that he is indeed in the "last phase" of his career.
MS Dhoni gives hint of retirement with IPL 2023
Known for keeping his cards absolutely close to his chest, MS Dhoni disclosed a hint about his retirement plans when asked during the presentation ceremony by renowned commentator Harsha Bhogle how he deals with the love and support from CSK's home crowd in each outing.
"All said and done, it's the last phase of my career, however long I play," Dhoni said in what would be sad news for his beloved fans. "After two years, the fans have had the opportunity to come here and watch, feels good to be here. The crowd has given us a lot of love and affection. Not getting enough chances to bat, but no complaints."
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That Dhoni is nearing his end on the playing field has been acknowledged widely for a long time now. However, it is still difficult for his passionate fanbase to accept that the 41-year-old icon may not be around too long after the end of IPL 2023.
Especially as the wicketkeeper-batter has managed to rewind the clock a bit with each of his trademark six towards the end of the innings. Opportunities to bat haven't been regular, but Dhoni has been going at a strike-rate of 210.71.