RECAP: “My last T20 game will be in Chennai” – Thala Dhoni Full Speech from the Super Celebrations
Dhoni Full Speech from the Super Celeberations in Chennai: As far as Chennai is concerned, the association started in 2008 when it comes to IPL, but it started before that when it came to some of the other formats, one of the most memorable being my test debut, you know, which happened in Chennai. I never knew that I would be picked by CSK.
I was in the auction and I got picked and it gave me an opportunity to understand the culture which was very different from where I actually came from. And what made it even more different was, I am more like a wanderer, you know, my parents came from UP, it was initially UP, then it became Uttarakhand. I was born in Rachi, which was Bihar, then later on became Uttarakhand, got my job at the age of 18 with railways in West Bengal, you know, Kharagpur.
And then I came to Chennai and I believe Chennai taught me a lot, Tamil Nadu taught me a lot. When it came to how to conduct myself, how to appreciate the game, each and every game that we played at Japok, the fans came and they supported Goodfricking. You know, a lot of times you have that mentality where you want your team to do well, but you don’t want your other team, you know, the opponent to do well, which was never the case in Chennai.
I think Sachin Paji got one of the best ovation whenever he walked into the ground, you know, even when he was playing for Mumbai Indians. So that was the love and understanding of the game, you know, when it comes to the fans of Tamil Nadu, you know, when it comes to cricket. We had a very good run from 2008, we had a very good run when it came to franchise cricket, but it became interesting in 2020. That was the first season where we didn’t qualify to the next stage of IPL.
It gave us a chance to test the real character of the franchise, because when the going is good, you always keep talking about what you do, what is the process that you follow, but it gave us an opportunity to earn the respect of the players and the fans, you know, because we said we believe in the process, we don’t believe in the result and the result definitely didn’t go in our favor in the 2020 and I feel we earned the respect of the men, because they said this is what they do, they walk the talk and that’s one of the main reasons why I believe we could came back strongly and we were able to win the title this year.
It will always be a challenge and that’s what cricket is all about, you know, if the other franchises were not strong enough, we won’t be talking about DRBs. But overall, it’s the fan following that CSK has got, but I won’t like to limit the fan following only to Tamil Nadu. I think it goes much beyond that, it goes beyond the state of Tamil Nadu and it goes beyond the border of India.
Wherever we have played, you know, whether we are playing at Chepauk or we go to Bangalore, we go to Mumbai, we go to Delhi or when we have played at Durban, Joburg or Dubai, we have got the most support, you know, wherever we needed that. So I would like to thank the fans for supporting us the way they have done, even through the lean patch.
Two years we were missing and those two years were the most talked about years when it came to CSK in the social media. That’s what fans are there for, when we are not doing well, when we are not there, they backed us. I have always planned my cricket, you know, my last game that I played was in Ranchi. The ODI version, the last home game, was at my hometown in Ranchi. So hopefully, by last T20, you know, it will be in Chennai. Whether it’s next year or in five years’ time, we don’t really know. So, on that note, you know, thanks for coming, it’s a real pleasure being here, thanks.