The ardent cricket fans in India are gearing up to celebrate the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). As the country's vibrant cricket bash is around the corner, all eyes are on MS Dhoni, who is one of India's greatest icons. Dhoni has been amassing more followers every year and in recent IPL seasons, he had been under speculations about his retirement from the tourney.
It's undeniable that IPL had played a vital role in shaping Dhoni's pinnacled cricket career besides being the successful captain of the Indian Cricket Team. Dhoni retired from the international cricket in 2020 and he has been captaining Chennai Super Kings in the IPL. He also remains to be the only captain to lead a team in the IPL from the beginning and now, as the fields are set for the battle, Dhoni would probably battle a question whether this IPL would be his last.
While fans wish to see Dhoni, roaring on the field for more years, they tend to acknowledge whatever comes up from Dhoni's camp. And if IPL 2023 could be the last season for Dhoni, how could the legacy be for the sport? 'It will be special', says former Australian cricketer Matthew Hayden, who played for Chennai Super Kings under Dhoni's captaincy in the team's early years.
Hayden, one of the greatest batsmen of all time, believes the 2023 season of the IPL will be special because of the finish of the legacy of Dhoni. In his remarks to Star Sports, Hayden said, "The IPL is on and it's also in every venue across India post-Covid. It's going to be remarkable, just the amount of supporters, the Yellow Army that is going to pile into the Chepauk Stadium. And they are going to be the same side that's going to be very difficult to beat at home as well."
He further said, "Their (CSK) record at home, at Chepauk, is undeniably the best in the IPL. That venue is a fortress. And they are going to have MS Dhoni as their captain, arguably for the last time and that's going to be one of those moments that no one is ever going to forget." "He has especially stayed on in the IPL to say goodbye to his fans at Chepauk and they are going to turn up like you just couldn't imagine", he added by expressing his views on how Chennai, the four-time IPL champions, would be thinking to give Dhoni a fitting send-off.
"See CSK, they notoriously find a way to do things unique and special. Take their hiatus out of their IPL, it was unfortunate the two years they weren't playing, and they came back the year after that to win the IPL, it was most unexpected. And they have a way. MS Dhoni has a way of revitalizing, revamping, making it just a completely different look and feel to the side, even though it's had this great tag of having complete trust in a few players and having retained most of their players", he added.
Hayden further said, "So for MS Dhoni, I think this year in particular, it's going to be a year celebrated like no other. It's the finish I believe of the legacy of MS Dhoni and he will want to go out in style with his fans, who would want him to go out in style as well." The IPL 2023 will grandly begin later this month and Chennai Super Kings and Gujarat Titans will clash in the opening match on March 31 at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.