Watch: MS Dhoni kept fans guessing with a cryptic response when asked about whether he would come to Chennai to play again during the post-match presentation of Qualifier 1 of IPL 2023 yesterday (May 23).

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Chennai Super Kings qualified for their 10th IPL final last night when they beat Gujarat Titans by 15 runs at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. With the final scheduled to be played in Ahmedabad, this was Chennai’s last match of the season at their home ground.

An obvious question in everyone’s mind was whether MS Dhoni had played his last professional game of cricket in Chepauk. Now 41, Dhoni has been nursing a knee injury throughout this season, and IPL 2023 been directly or indirectly alluded to this being the ‘last phase of his career’ throughout the season.

When Danny Morrison had asked Dhoni about how he was enjoying his ‘last’ tour at the toss during CSK’s match against Lucknow on May 3, Dhoni was quick to come up with a cheeky “well, you have decided it’s my last,” sending fans in a frenzy.

However, he had neither confirmed nor denied any possibility.

Last night, during the post-match presentation, Harsha Bhogle raised the same question: “Will you come and play here?”

“I don’t know, I have eight-nine months to decide,” came the response. “You know, the smaller auction will be around December, so why to take that headache right now, you know? I have ample time to decide.”

Dhoni did, however, say that he will always be committed to CSK, whether on the field or off it: “I’ll always be there for CSK whether it’s in the playing form or you know, sitting somewhere outside, I don’t really know.”

Dhoni’s “definitely not” at the toss during CSK’s last game in IPL 2020, and “I still haven’t left behind” after the IPL 2021 final, have become iconic lines over the years.

This time, however, similar definitive statements seem improbable, and fans might have to wait and watch to know whether they get to see Dhoni the player again after this season.

Watch MS Dhoni’s cryptic response that has kept fans guessing about his future: