“You know, I can’t think (of) not coming to CSK,” said Mahendra Singh Dhoni at the launch of the Veedu Kattu, Whistle Podu! consumer initiative of The India Cements Limited, long time sponsors of Chennai Super Kings, at a function in Chennai on Friday.
“A lot of people approached me, I can tell you that. And as I said, it’s (coming to CSK) because of everything, you know, what we have been through (achievements), how we have conducted ourselves, how the management has been, how the players have been, how the fans have been,” he continued.
“I always keep saying, it’s (Chennai) like a second home for me, the fans over here literally adopted me, accept me as one of their own... there can’t be a bigger compliment than that.”
Veedu Kattu, Whistle Podu!, a novel consumer offer, was inaugurated by Ms Rupa Gurunath, Whole Time Director, The India Cements Limited. “We are proud sponsors of CSK,” Ms Gurunath said before unveiling the logo along with Dhoni.
CSK emerged as one of the most decorated sides in the opening decade of the IPL after the Dhoni-led outfit won the title twice, finished runners-up on four occasions and qualified to the Playoffs in all eight seasons between 2008 and 2015.
The much-decorated franchise retained talisman Dhoni, Suresh Raina, who remains the highest run-getter for the Lions, and Ravindra Jadeja ahead of the 2018 Player auction.
CSK can now exercise up to two Right To Match cards at the auction in Bengaluru on Jan 27 and 28 and the player pool available to them for RTM will be those who played for them in IPL 2015 and who were a part of RPS and GL squads in IPL 2017.
Speaking about the upcoming auction, Dhoni said, “The uphill task starts again. You know, (about) who we will get in the auctions. We’ll try to get some of the players who have played for us. But this is the time where we can’t get too emotional about the fact because a lot of other franchises want players who have played for CSK.
“Whether we will get a lot of players who have played for us or not, the auction will say. But what we have been really good at is we have always made sure that the players who have been a part of CSK, they come and they perform to the potential they have got.
“There are a lot of players who have played for some of the other franchises but, somehow, they did not perform to the potential they have got but when they came to CSK, for whatever reasons, they gave their best and performed well on the field.”
Also present on the occasion were Rakesh Singh, Executive President, The India Cements Limited, KS Viswanathan, Chief Executive Officer, Chennai Super Kings, and K George John, Director, Chennai Super Kings Cricket Limited.
Viswanathan announced that Stephen Fleming will continue as Head Coach and that former India and CSK pacer Lakshmipathy Balaji has signed up as bowling coach.