For the cricket fans in Chennai, Monday - April 3 is going to be a historical day as their favourite idol MS Dhoni is going to play at the city's iconic Chepauk Stadium for the first time in four years. As the long wait is almost over, the fans are thronging to the stadium to witness the comeback of Dhoni as the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) is taking on the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) at 7.30 pm on Monday.
All eyes are on Chepauk Stadium, which is getting revived with a greatest fanfare for the Indian Premier League (IPL). The 16th edition of the IPL started with a bang on March 31 and in the opening match, Chennai Super Kings locked horns with Gujarat Titans in Ahmedabad. In a tightly-fought match, Titans won the battle and registered their first win while Super Kings braced up a debacle.
After wrapping up from Ahmedabad, the CSK reached its home to take on the Super Giants. In today's match, there will be a row of history - Dhoni-led CSK's first match in Chepauk in 1,426 days, it is the first time that CSK will play at Chepauk without Suresh Raina and it is also the first time for CSK opener Ruturaj Gaikwad to face the thundering mood in Chennai.
CSK played at Chepauk Stadium for the last time in 2019 and in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, the IPL had a setback and the games were held outside India for two years. Though several Indian cities hosted matches, Chennai didn't ease its COVID lockdown and restrictions during the peak of cases. As CSK is playing again, it's one of the factors why the cricket fans in Chennai and across the state are thronging towards the stadium.
The other factor on the table is that the IPL 2023 would presumably the last season for legendary MS Dhoni and as he is going to play at Chepauk today, who would wish to skip the live action? Jumping on the bandwagon, the state government is also celebrating the comeback of CSK as the government has announced free metro train journey for the fans who are going to watch the match at the stadium. The fans are instructed to display their match tickets to avail this free offer to join the yellovely wave of people. The metro rail operation has also been extended by 90 minutes today.
Historically, the CSK has a good track record at Chepauk Stadium. The team has won 40 out of 56 matches here. Though it is the first time that the CSK is taking on KL Rahul-led LSG at Chepauk, the numbers suggest that CSK is holding an edge to triumph today's match. During the practice sessions at the stadium, thousands of fans assembled and cheered the players. They gave a rousing welcome to Dhoni when he stepped into the pitch during a practice session and we can expect electrifying energy from the fans today as Dhoni-led CSK is up for a real action.
Rise up with roars for tomorrow is a sleep away! 🦁🥳#WhistlePodu #Yellove 💛 pic.twitter.com/uYj61OFIS1— Chennai Super Kings (@ChennaiIPL) April 2, 2023
Come one, come all! The greatest carnival is back in town! 🥳 #WhistlePodu #Yellove 🦁💛 pic.twitter.com/iQhVFBBffF— Chennai Super Kings (@ChennaiIPL) April 2, 2023