‘I had tears in my eyes’

Mahendra Singh Dhoni once again reiterated that retirement from the IPL was not on the cards for him yet.

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After leading Chennai Super Kings to a record-equalling 5th IPL title with a last-ball win over Gujarat Titans early Tuesday, Dhoni was asked at the post-match presentation if he had played his final professional match.

‘If you see, this is the best time to announce a retirement. The amount of love I have been shown, wherever I’ve played this year. The easier thing for me is to say ‘Thank you very much’, but the tough thing for me is to work hard for another nine months and come back to play at least one more season of IPL,’ the cricket legend, who will turn 42 on July 7, said.

‘But a lot depends on the body, I have 6-7 months to decide. It will be more a gift from my side. The way fans have shown their love and affection it’s something I need to do for them,’ Dhoni told commentator Harsha Bhogle.

Talking about getting emotional over the love shown by fans, Dhoni said ‘You do get emotional. It started over here, (the first match of IPL 2023 was played in Ahmedabad) the first game I just walked around and the full house was chanting my name. I had tears in my eyes and I just stood there in the dugout for a while and I took my time and I realised that I want to enjoy it and not take that pressure.

‘It was the same in Chennai, it was my last game over there. But it will be good to come back and play whatever I can.’

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