Their record tells their success story: Finalists in the first season in 2008, semifinalists the next year, winners of the IPL as well as the Champions League in 2010, and again one step away from glory this time.
Needless to say, their team model is the envy of all rivals. Their strong foundation is difficult for other teams to replicate. While CSK's rivals owe their birth to the IPL, Chennai's roots run deep — as far back as 1965.
It is an offshoot of the city's powerhouse, India Cements, and modelled on the success of the Tamil Nadu company's successful team.
The Twenty20 league is new but the franchise is an old hand at managing cricket teams. “We had the wherewithal and experience (when IPL happened),” says Kashi Viswanathan, a senior CSK official.