CSK lifts IPL 2023 trophy, defeat defending champ GT; Dhoni halts retirement plan

Chennai Super Kings won a record-equaling fifth IPL title when Ravindra Jadeja hit the last two balls for 6 and 4 in a nail-biting final against Gujarat Titans at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad in the early hours of Tuesday.

MS Dhoni kept his eyes closed in the dugout, not being able to watch the last 3 balls of the thrilling finale. CSK needed 13 runs with Shivam Dube and Ravindra Jadeja in the middle and GT’s Mohit Sharma delivering yorkers to perfection. GT’s Sai Sudharsan were an inninigs to watch out for as he slammed 96 in 47 balls which helped raise Gujarat Titans to 214 for four after being asked to bat first.

Rain again played spoilsport on Day 2 but the eagerness and love of fans made thecrain gods relent as CSK and GT made it a title clash to remember.

Dhoni’s retirement plan

Dhoni said that announcing his retirement will be the “easy thing” but he wants to train for the next nine months and try to play in the next season as a “gift” for his fans.

“Looking for an answer? Circumstantially if you see this is the best time for me to announce retirement. But the amount of love and affection that I have been shown, wherever I have been this year…I think the easy thing for me to say would be to say ‘Thank you very much’, but the tough thing for me would to work hard for nine months and come back and play at least one more season of IPL. But a lot depends on the body. It would take 6-7 months to decide. It will be more like a gift from my side. It’s not easy for me but the way they have shown their lose and affection, that’s something that I need to do,” he said at the post-match presentation.

“My eyes were full of water, I needed to take some time off in the dugout. I realised I need to enjoy this. I think they love me for what I am, they love that I am so grounded, I don’t try to portray something I’m not. Just keep it simple. Every trophy is special, but what is special about IPL is every crunch game you need to be ready,” he added.

Set a revised target of 171 in 15 overs after rain interrupted play at the start of the second innings of a final that was pushed to the reserve day owing to heavy downpour, CSK completed the task in the last ball, in what could turn out to be Dhoni’s final outing in the T20 league.