Sunil Gavaskar's startling reaction to video of MS Dhoni nearly in tears during speech on CSK's return to IPL

Mar 25, 2023 11:10 AM IST

On being asked about Dhoni's role in making CSK one of the most successful teams in the history of IPL, Gavaskar said it speaks a lot of the legendary cricketer's leadership qualities.

The disappointments of the series loss to Australia were still fresh. The questions about India's top-order, Suryakumar Yadav's form, and Rohit Sharma's decision to demote him to No.7 dominated the post-match discussion with Sunil Gavaskar. Just then, the broadcasters decided to switch to IPL build-up. This wasn't a surprise by any means as they have been doing the same throughout the Test series. Slipping in stories of IPL, its players, and team combinations during Australia's tour of India was nothing new. But After the third ODI, the IPL segment aired by the host broadcasters would have made any cricket fan emotional.

File photo of Sunil Gavaskar and MS Dhoni(ICC/Twitter)
File photo of Sunil Gavaskar and MS Dhoni(ICC/Twitter)

It showed footage of MS Dhoni nearly choking while talking to the Chennai Super Kings team members after their return to the IPL after serving a two-year ban. It was an old video but it was enough to touch the emotional chord. In the video, Dhoni somehow managed to fight back tears - he got a little help from Suresh Raina, who offered him water - and spoke about how the two years were one of the most difficult periods for everyone associated with CSK.

The streaming then cut to live with Gavaskar still standing with presenter Mayanti Langer. On being asked about Dhoni's role in making CSK one of the most successful teams in the history of IPL, Gavaskar said it speaks a lot about the legendary cricketer's leadership qualities.

"I think when CSK returned and won the IPL trophy, it was absolutely amazing because the team had not been together for two years and they had moved out with different franchises and suddenly they came back again. That tells you about leadership," Gavaskar said.

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In July 2015, the Justice Lodha Committee pronounced a two-year ban for CSK and Rajasthan Royals for their owners' involvement in the Indian Premier League 2013 fixing scandal, sending shockwaves through the cricket world.

As a result, some of the biggest names in world cricket, including Dhoni, had to move to other franchises during the two-year period. Dhoni played for the Rising Pune SuperGiant while Raina led Gujarat Lions.

But in IPL 2018, they returned to represent CSK and as astonishing as it may sound, CSK won the title on their return to IPL in 2018.

Gavaskar added, "That tells you how the man could get a team together again after that gap. Sometimes you know, first year, second year there is a team spirit that happens but to get all of them together after the gap is remarkable.

"I think therefore that particular year and some of the shots that he played, I remember one game where the teams needed 20 odd runs in the final over and he just smashed it around from everywhere from outside the off stump, he was hitting it over long on for sixes!

"We were used to seeing that from Dhoni but even those little touches of his where he makes a fielder, a player feel 7 feet tall, are the touches that make him stand out from the other."

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