MS Dhoni to play as wicketkeeper-batter in upcoming season of the Indian Premier League.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni has stepped down as captain of Indian Premier League holders Chennai Super Kings (CSK) two days before the new season and handed the leadership to Ravindra Jadeja, the club said on Thursday.
Dhoni, 40, led Chennai to four titles in the world's most valuable Twenty20 tournament, which begins on Saturday with Chennai taking on Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Mumbai.
"Jadeja, who has been an integral part of Chennai Super Kings since 2012, will only be the third player to lead CSK," the franchise said.
"Dhoni will continue to represent Chennai Super Kings this season and beyond."
Chennai under Dhoni became one of the most successful IPL teams since the league began in 2008 and apart from title wins they also have five runners-up finishes.
Dhoni, who quit as all-format India captain in 2017, remained Chennai's backbone as a leader and wicketkeeper-batsman, as well as a huge crowd-puller in the cash-rich league.
"Dhoni giving up the captaincy of @ChennaiIPL is truly the end of an era for all those loyal fans with whom he forged a relationship of the kind very few have," veteran commentator Harsha Bhogle tweeted.
Dhoni led Chennai to 121 wins in 204 IPL matches and two Champions League T20 titles in 2010 and 2014, before the tournament was stopped.
Jadeja, 33, a left-hand batsman and left-arm spin bowler, has been a key member of the Chennai team since 2012, apart from a two-year break when the franchise was suspended.
The 15th edition of the tournament has been expanded to 10 teams but league games will be restricted to four venues in Mumbai and Pune with limited crowds.
The Chennai Super Kings skipper, who will turn 41 in July this year, even did not rule out turning out in IPL 2024 too, saying 'you can't predict what will happen two years down the line."
The 23-year-old Pant, who was once an understudy to Dhoni and has now cemented his role as India's premier wicketkeeper, hit the winning runs in his first outing as T20 captain.
Dhoni retired from international cricket in 2020 but had stepped down as T20I captain in January 2017. He captained the Indian team in a total of 72 T20Is, winning 41 of these and losing 28.
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