It is not anexaggeration if we say MS Dhoni is the heart of Chennai. He is affectionately known as “Thala” across Chennai. The Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni led the team to four IPL trophies and five times, CSK ended up being the runner-ups. Right from the beginning of IPL, MS Dhoni remained in the same franchise till now.
If not the greatest, he is one of the finest leaders in the history of cricket. People in Chennai has unconditional love for their “Captain Cool” and he has unconditional love for motorbikes. CSK owner N Srinivasan recalled an incident from 2008 when they gifted Dhoni a bike.
“You will turn around and suddenly see him on his bike”- N Srinivasan
“From the first day, we gave him a bike, and he just disappeared. He drove all around the city,” Srinavasan said in Sportstar Conclave.
“Why he grew on Chennai and why Chennai grew on him was because on matchday you will turn around and suddenly see him on his bike,” he added. In the inaugural season of IPL, Dhoni guided CSK to the final, but lost it to Rajasthan Royals. “He has travelled the length and breadth of the city. That, in his own way, has endeared him to the city,” Srinivasan said.
Dhoni has previously stated that he would like to call it quits at the Chepauk Stadium only because it holds so many memories and his great innings. At Chepauk, he scored his first double century against Australia and here only, his team lifted the trophy for the fourth time last year. Although, this year all league matches were played in Maharashtra only and the playoffs and finals had other venues, Chennai didn’t host any matches this year. Next year, the Chennai fans might say adieu to their iconic captain.