Moments after the final of 2017 edition Indian Premier League between Rising Pune Supergiant and Mumbai Indians was concluded, Chennai Super Kings franchise announced their return next season to the league on social media. The franchise on their official Twitter account expressed delight. But, officially speaking, the franchise’s two-year ban was lifted on July 14, 2017.
CSK along with Rajasthan Royals were in July 2015 suspended from the cash-rich league in a clean-up exercise following the 2013 betting and spot-fixing scandal involving their top officials Gurunath Meiyappan and Raj Kundra.
K George John, one of the directors of CSKCL (Chennai Super Kings Cricket Limited) while talking to Times of India said MS Dhoni would be their first priority if they are allowed to retain the players. “If we are given an option of retaining a player, it will definitely be Dhoni,” he said.
Rising Pune Supergiant and Gujarat Lions were the two new franchises that were included in IPL in place of CSK and RR. Dhoni was drafted in RPS during the process and the right-hander led the side in their debut season but stepped down from the position before the start of 2017 edition. George further said that they haven’t discussed the situation of Dhoni with Rising Pune Supergiant.
“We haven’t yet discussed with Dhoni as his contract with Pune Supergiant ends later this year. However, we will speak to him in the future,” he added.
John also suggested that despite being out of action from Indian Premier League for two years, CSK’s brand “hasn’t taken” a hit. “In fact, we have got a lot of inquiries from various sponsors. We have had tremendous support from the sponsors and the fans have been phenomenal in supporting us,” he added.