“There is no CSK without Dhoni and there is no Dhoni without CSK”, says N Srinivasan

MS Dhoni receiving the IPL 2021 trophy | BCCI/IPL

He might have retired from international cricket and is well past his prime, but MS Dhoni continues to be the leader of the pack in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for the Chennai Super Kings (CSK).

Dhoni, who has been leading CSK since the inception of IPL in 2008, recently captained the franchise to their fourth title win in the cash-rich tournament.

No wonder, India Cements Ltd (ICL) vice-chairman and former BCCI chief N Srinivasan feels there is no Chennai Super Kings without MS Dhoni and vice-versa.

“Dhoni is part and parcel of CSK, Chennai and Tamil Nadu. There is no CSK without Dhoni and there is no Dhoni without CSK,” Srinivasan told reporters during a brief interaction on Monday (October 18).

India Cements Ltd owned the Chennai-based franchise from 2008 till 2014, when the ownership was transferred under the name of Chennai Super Kings Cricket Limited due to a conflict of issue interests.

Last week, CSK registered a comprehensive 27-run victory over Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the final to clinch their fourth IPL title.

Asked about retaining Dhoni and other CSK players ahead of the IPL 2022 mega auction, Srinivasan said retention policy is yet to be unveiled.

To a question on the criticism about no cricketer from Tamil Nadu playing for CSK, he said 13 players from the TNPL are plying their trades in the IPL or representing India.

“Lot of people are watching TNPL matches and it will go from strength to strength.”

When asked about CSK’s victory celebrations, Srinivasan said Dhoni would come to Chennai after performing the role of Team India’s mentor in the ongoing T20 World Cup and “share the trophy with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin at a function proposed to be organised at the M A Chidambaram Stadium”.