Dhoni quits as CSK captain; Jadeja to take the mantle
Dhoni has handed over the CSK captaincy to Jadeja ahead of IPL 2022. Photo: CSK

Dhoni quits as CSK captain; Jadeja to take the mantle

For the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) fans, it is certainly a heart-breaking moment.

Ahead of the 15th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2022), MS Dhoni has stepped down as the captain of CSK.

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In an official statement on its website on Thursday, March 24, CSK announced the decision. Ravindra Jadeja will lead the side in IPL 2022.

Dhoni, who has retired from international cricket, has been CSK’s captain since the first season of IPL in 2008. He has led the side to four IPL titles (2010, 2011, 2018, 2021).

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“MS Dhoni has decided to hand over the leadership of Chennai Super Kings and picked Ravindra Jadeja to lead the team. Jadeja, who has been an integral part of Chennai Super Kings since 2012, will only be the third player to lead CSK. Dhoni will continue to represent Chennai Super Kings this season and beyond,” the franchise said.

Super Kings CEO Kasi Viswanathan told ESPNcricinfo that Dhoni wanted the leadership “transition to be smooth” and was confident of Jadeja doing a good job. Viswanathan said that Dhoni made the declaration about quitting CSK captainship at the team meeting on Thursday (March 24) before the squad left for training.

Viswanathan said Dhoni was thinking about giving up captainship for some time. Because Jadeja is in the prime of his career, Dhoni thinks it is the right time to hand over the mantle to him, said Viswanathan.

Dhoni, who will turn 41 this July, has led CSK in 213 Twenty20 matches and won 130 games. Last year, during the IPL 2021 final in Dubai against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), he became the first captain in history to lead in 300 T20 matches. Besides CSK, Dhoni has captained the now-defunct Rising Pune Supergiant.

In the IPL 2022 opener on Saturday, March 26, CSK faces KKR at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium.

Gavaskar praises ‘matured’ Jadeja

Meanwhile, former India captain Sunil Gavaskar, before Dhoni decided to give up the captaincy, had said Jadeja is ready to take up the leadership role.

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“The way Ravindra Jadeja has matured as a player over the last few years, the way he is making the adjustment as far as his game is concerned, and the way he reads match situations has been absolutely fantastic. If in the odd game MS Dhoni decides to take a break, I won’t be surprised if the mantle of captaincy will be handed over to Jadeja,” Gavaskar said during a Gameplan episode aired on Star Sports, the official broadcaster of IPL.

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