The fans of iconic Indian cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni will finally be able to witness their idol back in action in the upcoming IPL 2020 season. The skipper of Chennai Super Kings has already started his training, is a fan favourite of the Chennai based club. Dhoni has captained CSK into eight IPL finals, and has lifted the trophy three times. The supporters address their beloved cricketer as ‘Thala’, which means leader of the head of the team. However, the superstar himself reveals there’s something else to the nickname.
In the Star Sports Network show called ‘Return of the Lion’, Dhoni spoke on his experience in IPL, and the love and affection he has received from his fan base in Chennai, which has become the Ranchi-born batsman’s second home over the years.
On being asked about his ‘Thala’ nickname, Dhoni revealed that it holds a fond meaning other than being the captain of the franchise.
“‘Thala’ basically means brother, so for me, it’s more the abstract of the fans, the love and affection towards me is the reflection of that.” the 38 year old said in the show.
Other than three IPL titles, CSK has also won two Champions Trophies under Dhoni’s captaincy, in 2010 and 2014.
He continued: “Whenever I am in Chennai or down South they never call me by my name they address me as ‘Thala’ and the moment someone calls me Thala they are showing their love and respect but at the same time he is a CSK fan.”
The 2011 Cricket World Cup winner also said that captaining CSK in the blockbuster tournament since its inaugural edition has been beneficial to his career in several ways.
“This journey started in 2008, CSK has helped me improve in everything whether it was being a human being or being a cricketer, handling situations that are tough both in and out of the field and how to be humble once you are doing well,” MS added.
The IPL 2020 season starts on 29th March, and Dhoni will be on the pitch on the first day as CSK takes on defending champions Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium.