The Game is Over for Many CSK Fans
The retirement of a player with the charisma of Dhoni would result in an erosion of a massive number of followers of the game and a large amount of sponsorship money.
When Sachin Tendulkar decided to untie his pad forever, many cricket fans have stopped following the game. Only a few players have the quality to bring a huge number of fans to a game just to follow his/her performance. M S Dhoni is such a player carrying a legacy near to the cricket god, Sachin Tendulkar with a huge fan base. When his relinquishment of captaincy and a rumoured immature retirement in the middle of the game would wipe out a large number of fans from the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) array and it eventually result in the viewership of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
CSK is one of the top IPL franchises while talking about the fan base and number of trophies. Dhoni was the key of attraction for the team and he played a solo role in making the team such influential in the league. The charisma of Dhoni has made it possible for CSK for winning the hearts of millions across the globe. His permanent absence from the team would definitely disturb the fanbase and many would either stop following the game or shift the alliances.
Many believe that M S Dhoni would retire from all formats of cricket in the middle of this tournament. He never had given any clue before declaring the important decisions like his retirement from test cricket and international cricket. The cricketing world believes that the decision of Dhoni would create a huge impact for both IPL and CSK.
Aakash Chopra, former Indian cricketer and commentator were among the first to spin the rumour wheel about the retirement of M S Dhoni from IPL. He said that “Earlier this year too, I’m sure he did not want the franchise to retain him as spending money on retaining him would not have made the team stronger, as he may not be there for next season. This is why he asked Jadeja to be the first retainer, as he might not stay if he is not given ₹16 crores.”
The performance of Dhoni was never ever been near to what the fans expected from him in the last two seasons. But his sharpness in taking decisions on and off the field helped the team from reemerging as the champions in the last season after a disappointing performance of CSK in 2020. It shows that the Dhoni impact on CSK is an adding advantage for the team even if his bat is silent and many believe the retirement of Dhoni as captain would mean an end of an era.
“We use the expression “end of an era” very loosely sometimes. But Dhoni giving up the captaincy of IPL is truly the end of an era for all those loyal fans with whom he forged a relationship of the kind very few have”, said noted commentator Harsha Bhogle.
The post-Dhoni period would definitely not be the same for the viewership of IPL and the fan base of CSK. Dhoni is the only cricketer active from the fabulous period of Indian cricket, where millions followed the game from the heart. The absence of Dhoni means a lot to cricket and its followers in India.