MS Dhoni: The stage is set for the upcoming edition of the biggest franchise cricket league in the world. The next edition of the Indian Premier League will kick off on March 31, Friday, when the four-time champion Chennai Super Kings will lock horns with the defending champion Gujarat Titans in the first season opener at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. Unlike the last couple of seasons, this edition will see the games played with a home-and-away template.
Thus, it means that the former Indian captain and current CSK skipper, MS Dhoni, will be back in the yellow jersey in Chennai in front of the home crowd. MSD needs no introduction to the game. In fact, he is one of the biggest names that India has ever produced in the game. Thus, his aura in Indian cricket is just unimaginable. MSD is the face of the Chennai Super Kings and has a devoted fanbase in Chennai. And some media reports have confirmed that it might be the last time that MS Dhoni will step onto the field for CSK.
IPL 2023: MS Dhoni to play his last IPL match on May 20?
The schedule for the next edition of the Indian Premier League was announced a few days ago. It saw every team playing a total of 14 games, in which they will play seven games at their home ground while rest seven will be played away. It means CSK will play their seven games in MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. The first match CSK will play in Chennai will take place on April 3 against the Lucknow Super Giants.
CSK didn’t have a great performance last season, and they ended up in ninth place with only four wins out of 14. MS Dhoni gave the captaincy to Ravindra Jadeja at the start of the season, but it didn’t work well. Hence, the franchise gave back the captaincy duties to MSD midway through the season. The CSK skipper confirmed in TATA IPL 2022 that he will be back in 2023 and want to play his last game in front of their fans. It means Dhoni will play his last home game on May 14, when CSK faces KKR.
Meanwhile, CSK’s last IPL match is scheduled to be played on May 20 against Delhi Capitals in Delhi. That might be the last IPL game for CSK if they do not qualify for the playoffs. Earlier, a CSK official confirmed, “Yes, it will be MS’s last season as a player. That is what we know so far. But of course, it’s his decision. He hasn’t officially communicated to the management that he will go into retirement. It is a special occasion for all CSK fans as IPL returns to Chennai. But it will be a sad moment if Dhoni plays his final season.”
IPL 2023: Schedule for IPL Playoffs yet to be announced
Every team will play 14 group games each. There will be a total of 70 group games and four playoff games. So far, the IPL governing council has announced the schedule of the group matches, while the schedule for the playoff stage has not been announced until now. And if CSK doesn’t make the playoffs, it means that MSD will play his last game on May 20. All those 70 group games will take place across 12 different venues in India.
MS Dhoni – IPL Career
MS Dhoni led India to the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007. After that, the IPL was inaugurated in 2008. It was the Chennai Super Kings, who picked MSD in the auction, and since then, he has been part of the team. He has led the Yellow Army to four IPL titles in 2010, 2011, 2018, and 2021, respectively.
Apart from wins, under him CSK has ended as runners-up five times: in 2008, 2012, 2013, 2015, and 2019. His legacy will remain at the top, as he is the only captain to lead an IPL team to 11 playoffs. MS Dhoni has played a total of 234 IPL games and scored 4978 runs at an average of 39.20 and a strike rate of 135.20, including 24 half-centuries.