There is speculation before the start of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 that former India captain MS Dhoni could be playing his final season of the T20 league. Dhoni will be leading Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2023 with the season getting underway with a clash between his side and defending champion Gujarat Titans on March 31.
However, in what could be some great news for Dhoni fans around the globe, former CSK batter Suresh Raina has hinted that Dhoni may be available to play in IPL 2024 as well. Raina, who retired from IPL last season and is currently playing for India Maharajas in Legends League Cricket (LLC) 2023, said that it will all depend on Dhoni’s form and fitness in IPL 2023.
“Agle saal ho sakta hai wo (Dhoni) fir IPL khelein. Unka form achcha lag raha hai, batting achcha kar rahe hain. It all depends ke kaisa khelta hai this season. Kaafi challenging hoga, ek saal se tournament nahi khelein hai wo,” Raina said after the match against the World Giants on Wednesday (March 15) night.
Raina’s Exclusive Take. _@ImRaina speaks on World Giants’ triumph, Doha’s warmth and Harbhajan’s leadership as the skipper! Plus, an exciting scoop on Dhoni’s possibility for the next season. _#LegendsLeagueCricket #SkyexchnetLLCMasters #LLCT20 #YahanSabBossHain pic.twitter.com/9XxgP359Ld
— Legends League Cricket (@llct20) March 15, 2023
“I think the CSK team is quite strong, there are some you players coming in like Ruturaj (Gaikwad), (Devon) Conway and Ben Stokes is also joining the team,” the former CSK southpaw added.
When asked if Dhoni answers his telephone calls, Raina said, “Yes we speak on the phone often. He has been training hard in Chennai, as you can see in some of his recent videos as well.”
Unlike Raina, Dhoni isn’t eligible to play in Legends League Cricket yet. The CSK skipper, who has retired from international cricket, hasn’t quit all forms of Indian cricket yet. As per the BCCI’s rules, a player has to quit Indian cricket completely to be eligible to play the foreign leagues or any other league. Indian cricket includes international cricket, IPL and domestic cricket.
In 234 IPL matches till date, Dhoni has notched up 4,978 runs at an average of 39.2 and a strike-rate of 135.2 with 24 fifties. In IPL 2022, Dhoni scored 232 runs in 14 matches but CSK failed to progress to the Playoffs stage.