“There Wasn’t A Dry Eye In Dressing Room”: How MS Dhoni Broke Captaincy News To CSK Teammates

An icon of the game, MS Dhoni heads into the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 season as a pure wicket-keeper batter, having relinquished his responsibility as the Chennai Super Kings captain. Dhoni’s decision to step down paved the way for Ruturaj Gaikwad to take up the role. Though the decision was expected by many, it still led to an outburst of emotions among fans. The situation in the CSK dressing room wasn’t any different, with eyes getting wet as soon as the ‘Thala’ revealed that he would be stepping down as skipper ahead of the start of the season.

Chennai Super Kings head coach Stephen Fleming narrated the dressing room scenes as Dhoni broke the news.

“(When Dhoni broke the news) there were a lot of emotions. A whole lot of tears. There wasn’t a dry eye in the dressing room. Everyone was moved. Last time (when CSK changed the captain) we weren’t as prepared for MS to move and for a change in leadership,” Fleming said.

“There was also a round of congratulations to Ruturaj. He isn’t the most vocal person, but he has qualities to lead us in the right direction.”

It isn’t the first time Dhoni has stepped down as CSK skipper, having done the same two years ago when Ravindra Jadeja had taken his spot. But, that move backfired with Dhoni being reinstated as the skipper in the middle of the campaign. Fleming, however, expects a different story this time around.

“Well, the big thing about a couple of years ago was that we probably weren’t ready for MS to move aside,” Fleming said. “And what that did was probably shake us as a leadership group or coaches into looking at the possibility when he does go. And up until that stage, it was almost unthinkable, but it sowed the seed. So, we’ve worked pretty hard on making sure that any mistakes that were made during then aren’t made again. And that the leadership isn’t a secret.”

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