After the Indian Premier League (IPL 2023) schedule was announced by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), it made fans extremely happy. The most popular and the biggest T20 cricket league in the world is back with Hardik Pandya’s Gujarat Titans (GT) taking on MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the first match of the tournament on March 31 at Narendra Modi Stadium in Gujarat. However, a quick glimpse at the schedule also upset some fans. The reason was just one match scheduled between CSK and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). Just one match between these two top sides means that Virat Kohli and Dhoni could be seen together on the ground, even if playing against each other, for just one time this season.
Also read | Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) IPL 2023 Schedule: Full Match Fixtures, Time-Table, Dates, Time, Venues, Squads List
RCB host CSK on April 17 at M Chinnaswamy stadium. That’s the only time we will see Kohli and Dhoni together in the field as current CSK captain is likely to retire from all forms of cricket after the end of the league. Dhoni had said ahead of CSK’s last IPL 2022 contest that he wants to say goodbye by playing in front of the home crowd. That’s the one big reason why he did not retire after IPL 2022. For three back-to-back seasons, IPL was held mostly outside India due to pandemic. In the year 2021, the league was partially held in India but no team played at their home ground. In IPL 2022, the league was back in India. However, all games happened in Mumbai, across 3 stadiums. CSK didn’t get a chance to play at home.
Whistles are the order of the summer! ,#TATAIPL #WhistlePodu , pic.twitter.com/VoAzUmDyEy— Chennai Super Kings (@ChennaiIPL) February 17, 2023
Over the years, Dhoni has become very dear to Chennai. The Tamil Nadu capital has become his second home after Ranchi and he is lovingly called ‘Thala’ by the CSK fans.
Also read | Chennai Super Kings (CSK) IPL 2023 Schedule: Full match fixtures, time-table, dates, time, venues, squads list
Kohli and Dhoni are best of friends. Kohli was Dhoni’s choice as his successor when he quit captaincy across formats. For Kohli, Dhoni is still the mentor that he needs. When they play against each other, you see the same mutual respect. The warmth is reflected on screen every time they meet before or after the match. Needless to say, the RCB vs CSK match at Chinnaswamy Stadium on April 17 will be one of the biggest matches to watch out for. And we may get to some emotional moments between two former India captains.