WATCH: MS Dhoni leaves Chennai as IPL 2020 future remains unclear
Dhoni's departure casts more doubts as the Indian Premier League contemplates what to do amid coronavirus outbreaks across the country.
With the Indian Premier League (IPL) pushed till April 15 from its original starting date of March 29 due to the coronavirus outbreak, Chennai's captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni left for his hometown Ranchi. The future of the cash-IPL is in doubt with COVID-19 spreading far and wide in India, and CSK captain Dhoni decided to return to his home in these times of uncertainty.
The Chennai-based franchise tweeted a video of the captain departing and said, "It has become your home, sir!" Keep whistling, as #Thala Dhoni bids a short adieu to #AnbuDen"
Unfortunately Dhoni could not prevent a social gathering as his fans crowded the airport to get a glimpse of their favourite superstar who has led Team India and CSK to multiple titles. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had on Friday announced its decision to suspend the Indian Premier League (IPL) till April 15 amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“The BCCI will work closely with the Government of India along with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and all other relevant Central and State Government departments in this regard,” it added.
Earlier this day, the Delhi government had announced that it banned all sporting events in the national capital, making the holding IPL uncertain. Maharashtra government had announced on Thursday that it will allow matches only in empty stadiums.
The coronavirus will affect Dhoni's chances of featuring in the T20 World Cup. The former Indian captain had been on a sabbatical since India lost to New Zealand in the ICC ODI World Cup in 2019. The IPL was a chance for the wicketkeeping batsman to impress the selectors and get him a call for a tournament that he captain to victory in its inagurual edition. The exit will also fuel rumours about his retirement with many believing the Ranchi-born batsman will call it quits after the T20 tournament.