The unparalleled adoration for MS Dhoni in India is undeniable. Not only in India but across the globe, every cricket enthusiast holds immense love for the former Indian captain. Throughout his tenure with the Indian national team, Dhoni left an indelible mark, not only as a remarkable player but also as a strategic thinker and an exceptional leader. His retirement announcement created a significant void within the Indian team that is yet to be filled.
To celebrate his 42nd birthday, a group of passionate fans in Hyderabad crafted a colossal 55-foot tall cutout of Dhoni. Subsequently, images of a towering 77-foot tall cutout of Dhoni wearing CSK's training kit surfaced, originating from Nandigama in Andhra Pradesh.
Devoted followers of Dhoni orchestrated this tribute, demonstrating their unwavering admiration for the cricketing legend. During the commemoration, Dhoni's cutout underwent the ceremonial 'Abhishekam' ritual, where individuals climbed atop the cutout to pour water over it. 'Abhishekam' is a religious Hindu practice involving the pouring of sacred substances, including water, onto a deity's statue while offering prayers.
Dhoni's impact extends beyond the Indian team; it has also been monumental for his IPL team, the Chennai Super Kings. On his 42nd birthday, which fell on July 7, 2023, Dhoni became the oldest captain, aged 41, to win an IPL title when the Chennai Super Kings emerged victorious in the most recent IPL 2023. Dhoni's illustrious career has been adorned with remarkable achievements, guiding both the Indian side and CSK to remarkable heights of success.
The Dhoni machine keeps on spinning
Throughout the IPL 2023 season, speculations about Dhoni's future have been a constant source of discussion. However, the captain of the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) chose to put an end to these talks following the conclusion of the final match.
Expressing his gratitude to the fans, Dhoni revealed that he had a special gift in store for them. He reassured them that he would return in time for IPL 2024. With this statement, Dhoni effectively quelled any doubts or uncertainties surrounding his future and provided a sense of reassurance to the ardent supporters eagerly awaiting his return.
"Looking for an answer? This is the best time to announce my retirement. But the amount of love I have received all over. The easy thing would be to walk away from here, but the harder thing would be working hard for 9 months and try to play another IPL. It would be a gift from me, won't be easy on the body," Dhoni told broadcasters moments before he joined his teammates to collect the IPL trophy.