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MS Dhoni hands over CSK captaincy ahead of 2024 IPL season

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After 16 years of leading the Chennai Super Kings, Mahendra Singh Dhoni has decided to step down from the captaincy ahead of their opening clash against Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore. This will only be just the second time MS Dhoni won’t start an IPL season as skipper of CSK, after Ravindra Jadeja had been the captain in IPL 2022, only for him to be replaced mid-way by the legendary wicketkeeper batsman.

New captain, 27-year-old Ruturaj Gaikwad, participated in a pre-captains photoshoot with the captains of the other IPL teams, joining the likes of Hardik Pandya, Shubman Gill, Faf du Plessis, and the returning Rishabh Pant. It will be the first time Pune-based Gaikwad will be the captain in the tournament.

“MS Dhoni has handed over Chennai Super Kings’ captaincy to Ruturaj Gaikwad ahead of the start of IPL 2024. Ruturaj has been an integral part of Chennai Super Kings since 2019 and has played 52 matches in IPL during this period. The team looks forward to the upcoming season,” said the franchise in a statement on its official website.

Known as ‘Thala’ within the CSK fanbase, Dhoni’s unorthodox, yet, successful captaincy style has led the Super Kings to a record 5 IPL titles, sitting level with the Mukesh Ambani owned Mumbai Indians as the joint highest total in the history of the competition.

Although the reason for Dhoni stepping down is unclear, many fans speculate that this could be MS Dhoni’s final season playing professional cricket. After hanging up the gloves from international cricket in 2020, many had since suggested that his days as an IPL player were numbered. Although, four years on, Dhoni continues to don the iconic number 7 jersey for CSK, as the 42-year-old and his side look to defend their IPL title in 2024.

READ MORE: Era of Dhoni’s captaincy in Indian cricket comes to an end

Renesh Krishnan
Renesh Krishnan
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