On Saturday, former team India caption MS Dhoni and teammate Suresh Raina announced their retirement from international cricket.
Taking to Instagram with a short video Dhoni wrote that from 7:29 pm, people should consider him retired "Thanks a lot for your love and support throughout," he added.
Soon after that, Raina took to Instagram with a photo featuring his Chennai Super King teammates and said that he was choosing to follow Dhoni on his journey. "It was nothing but lovely playing with you, @mahi7781 . With my heart full of pride, I choose to join you in this journey. Thank you India. Jai Hind!" he wrote in the caption.
The news has plunged many into mourning. Netizens lamented the fact that they would not have one last match to look forward to, as well as ruing their departure as the end of an era.
But while it is true that we will no longer see Dhoni and Raina play international cricket, that does not mean that the two will completely cease playing the sport. Even as you read this, the two are in Chennai training for the upcoming Indian Premier League. They are both part of the Chennai Super Kings.
According to reports, Dhoni, Raina, Deepak Chahar, Piyush Chawla and Kedar Jadhav are some of the players who have reached the city for the week-long camp beginning Saturday at the M.A. Chidambaram stadium. Dhoni will lead CSK in the 13th edition of the IPL, making an eagerly-awaited return to competitive cricket after a prolonged sabbatical.
Originally scheduled to start on March 29 before being postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 edition of the IPL will now start on September 19 and will be played in the UAE. Some international players, including CSK's Josh Hazlewood will miss the start of the IPL.
According to the IPL 2020 schedule, the first match, on September 19 will be played between the Mumbai Indians and the Chennai Super Kings. And while the list of players who will be on field is not available yet, they may both be playing on the 19th.
The three-time IPL champions will then take on Rajasthan Royals on September 22.
Incidentally, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) CEO Kasi Viswanathan believes that veteran wicketkeeper-batsman MS Dhoni will be a part of the franchise for the 2021 and 2022 editions of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Teammate Raina incidentally is the second highest run-getter in the history of the IPL after Virat Kohli.
(with inputs from agencies)