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“The toughest thing is…” – MS Dhoni’s major remark on playing IPL after international retirement

Former Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni has opened up about the challenges of participating in the Indian Premier League, especially after retiring from international cricket. MS Dhoni stated that players have to maintain fitness like other players, adding that ‘nobody gives a discount for age’.

The speculations regarding Dhoni’s retirement from the IPL have been circulating for several editions. The Impact Player rule helped Dhoni play all 14 matches in the IPL 2024. The CSK management acknowledged that a muscle tear limited his ability to bat for extended periods in the ongoing tournament.

The wicketkeeper-batter made a notable impact in IPL 2024 despite his knee surgery last year. The right-handed batter came to the crease when only a few balls were left in the CSK innings. Dhoni scored 161 runs in 14 matches at an impressive average of 53.67 and a staggering strike rate of 220.55.

I Have To Be Fit – MS Dhoni

“The toughest thing is… I am not playing cricket throughout the year. So I have to be fit. Once I come, you are competing against youngsters who are fit and playing international cricket. Professional sport is not easy, nobody gives you a discount for age,” Dhoni said in a video shared by Dubai Eye 103.8 YouTube channel.

MS Dhoni stepped down from the captaincy and passed the leadership to Ruturaj Gaikwad. The veteran cricketer remained a key player in CSK’s campaign this season. CSK did not reach the playoffs and finished fifth in the table with 14 points. But missed out on qualification due to a lower net run rate.

Dhoni scored 25 runs off 13 balls in CSK’s crucial match against Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB). However, he could not help the team reach the target of 201 runs needed to surpass RCB’s net run rate. CSK was eliminated from the playoff race after suffering a loss against the Faf du Plessis-led team.

Wanted To Spend A Bit More Time With My Family – MS Dhoni

MS Dhoni stated that he wanted to spend a bit more time with his family after quitting international cricket. The former CSK skipper mentioned activities, such as farming, motorbikes, and vintage cars, which help him stay mentally active and focused.

“Once I quit international cricket, I wanted to spend a bit more time with my family. But, at that same time, to be mentally active, to have that passion to stay focussed — for me, I love farming, for me it is the motorbikes, I have started getting into vintage cars. These things de-stress me. If am stressed, I would maybe go to the garage, spend a couple of hours over there and I will just be fine, I would come back,” Dhoni added.

“I have always felt growing up with a pet, whether it is a cat or a dog… I prefer dogs though. They have unconditional love towards you. I have said this in a previous interview, even if I lose a game and come back, my dog greets me the same way,” he further said.

The Jharkhand-born cricketer is one of two captains to secure consecutive IPL titles. He led his team to back-to-back victories in 2010 and 2011. Last year, he guided the Chennai team to their fifth title by defeating the Gujarat Titans (GT) in the final.

Also read: T20 World Cup 2024: IPL Playoffs force Australian players to head to World Cup without practice matches

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