End of an Era! MS Dhoni said, “I don’t know if I will play again Next year”

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) sealed their spot in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 final thanks to a 15-run win over the Gujarat Titans (GT) in Qualifier 1 at Chennai on Tuesday (May 23) but the big talking point throughout the season continued to dog the side. That talking point, of course, being the impending retirement of one MS Dhoni.

The CSK captain, who has been affectionately nicknamed ‘Thala’ by CSK fans, has long been rumoured to retire from the IPL ever since he called it a day from international cricket too.

However, he has now once again put his decision to announce his retirement on the backburner – at least for the time being.

Speaking after CSK’s win against GT, he made it clear that he is not thinking about retirement right now but did not definitively state if he would be back next year.

“I don’t know (if I will be back next year). I have 8-9 months to decide. Why take that headache now,” he said when asked about his future plans.

It is worth noting that he has previously denied in a rather coy manner that he will be hanging up his boots.

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MS Dhoni said, I don’t know if I will play again Next year
Hardik Pandya and MS Dhoni with IPL Trophy during Qualifier 1. (Image: IPL/BCCI)

“You have decided it’s my last year, not me,” he had told Danny Morrison with a smile on his face before one IPL game this season.

Yet this does little to dispel any rumours of retirement on his part – especially since everyone knows that, at this point in time, his career is in the twilight stages.

He called time on his international career in 2020, and since then every year fans have been trying to pick out signs about whether or not he will stay on at CSK or call it a day.

This uncertainty is why fans around the country have flooded the stadiums in CSK jerseys with the number 7 on it, looking to catch potentially one last glimpse of the legend in action.

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It hasn’t helped matters that Dhoni has been playing this IPL while dealing with an injury to his left knee.

He has been spotted multiple times with either a brace or an ice pack around his knee during practice and even after games.

This has impacted his natural explosiveness behind the stumps as well as his ability to run quickly between wickets too.

However, the truth about his retirement is that only one person knows the answer – and that’s Dhoni himself. And he is yet to make up his mind, which is why his decision still remains unknown.

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