CSK CEO Kasi Vishwanathan has said that while he doesn’t know if MS Dhoni will return to the IPL next season, the franchise are “very, very hopeful” that he might.

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CSK lost to RCB in their final league game of IPL 2024 to crash out of the tournament in Bengaluru. While there was no announcement made either by Dhoni or by CSK about this being his last season as a player, the general assumption among most is that Dhoni might have played his last game of competitive cricket.

The CSK CEO Vishwanathan, however, revealed that Dhoni hasn’t given any indications about his future to the franchise, and that they hope that he will continue for another year.

Speaking on the CSK YouTube channel, Vishwanathan said, “I do not know. It is a question which only MS can answer. The question for us, we have always respected the decisions taken by MS, we have left it to him.

“As all of you know, he has always taken his decisions and announced it at the appropriate time. We do expect that we will get a decision as and when he decides. But we are very, very hopeful that he will be available for CSK the next year. That is the view and expectations of the fans and mine.”

Every year for the last four to five seasons, there have been noises around Dhoni retiring, but the veteran wicketkeeper has almost always clarified at the end of the season that he will be back the following year.

This time though, Dhoni didn’t get that opportunity as CSK were eliminated in the league stage and Dhoni had handed over captaincy to Ruturaj Gaikwad ahead of the season, adding fuel to the assumptions that this might be his last.

Having undergone a knee surgery last year, Dhoni appeared in discomfort throughout the season and is reportedly set to undergo another surgery soon. However, despite his fitness concerns, he was at his destructive best with the bat, scoring 161 runs at a strike rate of 220.5.

Vishwanathan also dismissed rumours of Stephen Fleming being a frontrunner for the next India head coach role. He said that coaching for a major part of the year is not Fleming’s “cup of tea”.

“I jokingly asked Stephen, ‘have you applied to the Indian coaching assignment? Stephen just laughed and said, ‘do you want me to?’ I know that it’s not going to be his cup of tea because he doesn’t like to be involved for nine-ten months in a year. That’s my feeling. I have not discussed anything more on him.”