Yes, I am one of those 70 million CSK loyalists who were left with no choice but to support Rising Pune Supergiants and/or Gujarat Lions this season of the Indian Premier League, and next, after CSK got expelled from the League for 2 full seasons. Even though Gujarat got a major chunk of the CSK core including Raina, Jaddu, BMac, Dwayne Smith, Dwayne Bravo and the likes, I chose to support Pune because of one man. You Know Who!
It’s not a normal bond that we shared; me and Chennai. It started way back in late 2007 when I heard Kris Srikanth’s voice in a Tamil FM channel. He talked about this new T20 league and about how there was going to be a team from Chennai participating in the same. I was in Class XII. Used to listen to FM a lot those days. Srikanth was endorsing a contest that the Radio channel conducted to nominate a name for the Chennai side.
Even back then, I was already a full time Dhoni veriyan. I was elated when the announcement came that Dhoni was the Star Player for the Chennai side and that he would be leading the side at least for the first 3 seasons. My favourite player playing for my favourite city.
People have asked me this question. “What if Dhoni was picked by some other side? Would you have stilled supported Chennai or the side Dhoni led?”. Glad this never happened. Because it’s a tough question. Perhaps, I’d have still rooted for Dhoni’s side.
The memories Dhoni and Chennai Super Kings have given us over the last 8 seasons will be cherished for a lifetime. Who knows what’s going to happen in 2018, when Chennai is back?! It’s not guaranteed Dhoni is going to play for Chennai in 2018. He would love to, I know. But who knows what’s in store?!
There was this interview Dhoni had given before the beginning of IPL 9. There was this question asked about how he felt playing for a team other than Chennai Super Kings. His reply gave goosebumps to every single CSK loyalist. His own eyes were damp. Such was the bond he shared with the side. Who would not, after leading a side in style for 8 straight years?
There’s not a single, I repeat, not a single IPL side that has had exactly one Captain across all 8 seasons, apart from Chennai. I still get goosebumps while watching some of CSK’s best IPL moments. Haydos-Vijay opening stands, Dhoni mania at Dharamshala, Bravo-Pollard flight moment, Albie’s 28 against Virat Kohli’s bowling, Ash and Murali bowling in tandem, that off side field with BMac, Faf, Raina, Jaddu. There’s a lot more. Aah, how we miss that Chennai side!
You might be wondering what does the blog title have to do with the content it’s got. Well, it’s been more than 100 days since I last published a post. I need some time to warm up 🙂
It’s okay Barely Rising Pune Supergiants. Next season is ours!