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Dubai: Will Mahendra Singh Dhoni play for Chennai Super Kings next season in the IPL? This was the question on everyone's mind after CSK defeated Kolkata Knight Riders in the final to win IPL 2021.
Dhoni in his inimitable style kept questions on his IPL retirement open-ended after the final but did admit that a lot of things will depend on the kind of retention policy that BCCI puts in place for the big auction next year.
Dhoni, who is set to join the Indian team as 'Mentor' for the T20 World Cup, spoke about how he would like to create a roadmap for the next 10 years of IPL that Chennai Super Kings will be playing.
When asked if he was proud to have left a legacy behind in the 12 seasons for CSK, Dhoni assured his million fans with a wide grin, "Still I haven't left behind...."
But he said that he hasn't decided how he would fit into the retention scheme of things.
"Again I've said it before, it depends on BCCI. With two new teams coming in......we have to decide what is good for CSK," the skipper said after his team won the fourth IPL title.
"It's not about me being there in top-three or four. It's about making a strong core to ensure the franchise doesn't suffer. The core group, we have to have a hard look to see who can contribute for the next 10 years," he added. Dhoni was happy that a lot of individual match-winners have got CSK to their fourth trophy.
"We had match winners coming game after game and doing really well. Every final is special, if you look at stats, we may say we're the most consistent team to lose the final too. I feel it's important to come back strong, especially in the knockouts," he said.
Dhoni also made it clear that he is not very much into team meetings as the average attention span during these meetings is 20 minutes.
"Frankly no chats, we don't talk a lot (meetings). It's more one-on-one, our practice sessions are meeting sessions. The moment you get into a team room, it brings about different pressure. Our practice sessions have been good." The 'Thala' had a message for the CSK fans.
"I would love to thank the fans, wherever we've played, even when we were in South Africa, we've always had a good number of CSK fans. That is what you crave for. Thanks to all of them, it feels like we're playing in Chennai. Hopefully we'll be back in Chennai for the fans."
He also at the start praised KKR for a fine show as they came back from two points in seven games to reach the final which is an achievement in itself.
"Before I start talking about CSK, need to talk about KKR. Difficult to come back and do what they have, if any team deserved to win the IPL, it's KKR. Huge credit to the coaches, team and support staff. The break really helped them."
With PTI inputs