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General News CSK look to bring back core team, Dhoni top priority

The two-year suspension imposed by Supreme Court on Chennai Super Kings following the spot-fixing scandal ended on Thursday and the two-time champion are back in the fold. And Chennai Super Kings Cricket Limited (CSKCL), the company that runs the team, is wasting no time to chart out its future course of action.

Prime on the agenda is getting MS Dhoni back in the team. Though the retention policy for the next year's IPL has not been decided by the BCCI yet, the CSK management is hoping it will get to retain some of the stars it had to let go when the ban was imposed. "If we are given an option of retaining a player, it will definitely be Dhoni," K George John, one of the directors of CSKCL, told TOI. "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.

It's not just about Dhoni. The CSK management is planning to rope in the same support staff CSK had in 2015 when it lost its last IPL match to Mumbai Indians in the final. Former New Zealand skipper Stephen Fleming had been the head coach for a few years. Former New Zealand skipper Stephen Fleming was at the helm as head coach, while Andy Bichel (bowling coach), Steve Rixon (fielding coach) and analyst Lakshmi Narayanan comprised the support staff for quite a few years.

"For us, loyalty is very important. That's been our strength over the years. Though we haven't yet taken a final decision on the support staff, we are definitely thinking of retaining the old support staff," he added.

The CSK management will kick start its promotional campaign from Friday itself with a couple of social media activities that is aimed at "evoking memories" of Dhoni & Co in the CSK colours over the past decade. "It's a new start. We don't want to go back. Our passion is cricket and we will stick to it. On Friday, we will have two activities on social media to mark the team's return. 'Super Moments' will revisit our title wins, Ashwin-Gayle saga and a few others. Then we will ask fans to send their Super Selfie with CSK stars and with yellow jersey," said John.

Despite its absence from IPL for two years, John mentioned that Brand CSK "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. John added that they are planning to have a few interactive sessions during the upcoming TNPL with some of the former CSK stars such as Matthew Hayden, who will be in the city for commentary.

"We look up to this TNPL period for conducting some interaction sessions. For example, if Hayden is here then we can plan a CSK get-together. We are still figuring out other options," he added.

Ecstatic CSK fans gear up for return:

Meanwhile, CSK fans in Chennai are gearing up to celebrate the return of the Kings. 'CSK Super Fan' H Saravanan, who has thousands of followers across the state as part of CSK fan club, has his yellow paint and famous wig ready .

"The entire CSK family is thrilled. Enga thala (Our hero) Dhoni will be back with us. We have been waiting for this very day for the past two years. I think even Mumbai Indians will be pleased with the return of CSK! The rivalry is back," Saravanan said.

On Friday, Saravanan and CSK fans will fund a meal for an orphanage and they have also planned blood donation camps in the future. "Instead of wasting money on CSK celebrations and crackers, we (fans) have decided to support a few orphanages. If we as CSK and Dhoni fans start doing such good stuff for society such as blood donation camps, then it will start a trend wherein fans of other cricketers too will follow our footsteps," he added.

Airtel Digital HD Recorder / Kerala Vision Digital TV
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