Credit: Twitter

Credit: Twitter

Chennai Super Kings played their last home game at the Chepauk Stadium in the IPL 2023 against Kolkata Knight Riders on Sunday and the away team managed to get two points from the fixture. However, the post-match moments ignited speculations over legendary skipper MS Dhoni's retirement at the end of the ongoing IPL season.

MS Dhoni has led CSK to each of their four championships making them the second-most successful team in the IPL after Mumbai Indians, who have won five titles. The 41-year-old Dhoni is currently leading the team to its 12th playoff qualification in their 14 seasons as CSK have managed the second spot in the IPL standings with just one game remaining. From the beginning of the IPL 2023, former players and cricket experts have made contrasting comments about Dhoni's future in the IPL.

After Sunday's game against KKR, MS Dhoni interacted with fans which appeared as a hint of his retirement at the end of the season due to these reasons:

Sunil Gavaskar's shirt autograph

Indian legend Sunil Gavaskar, who is an IPL commentator, was quick to approach Dhoni, who many believe is playing in his final domestic T20 league, and asked for his autograph on his shirt while Chepauk went berserk after KKR outplayed CSK at their final home game of the season. Dhoni signed Gavaskar's shirt in a heartfelt gesture and the incident sparked speculation on whether it was the CSK skipper's last game in the IPL. 

When a former player like Sunil Gavaskar's stature asked for Thala's autograph, it sparked a feeling of Dhoni's last IPL season as the legendary players are coming forward to pay their tribute. After the game, the legendary batter said, "Players like him (Dhoni) come once in a century, not even once in a generation."

Lap of honour 

After losing the game against KKR, Dhoni, and Co. paid their homage to the yellow army, who never disappoint with their support in any stadium across the country. Dhoni acknowledged the fans with a lap of honour, where he gave away jerseys to the fans, tossed a few balls into the crowd, and shook hard-working policemen's hands.

Watch the video here:

Knee injury 

Since the beginning of the season, MS Dhoni appeared to suffer from a knee injury as many pictures and videos went viral on social media that showed Thala limping and wearing a kneecap. The injury issue has drawn the attention of many while CSK coach Stephen Fleming and CEO have accepted that Dhoni is 'nursing a knee injury', however, the injury won't keep the skipper out of action this season.

But the injury has caused Dhoni to not opt for doubles while batting, an uncharacteristic decision for Captain Cool. This has raised concerns over his future commitment to CSK as a player.

Dhoni's IPL 2022 quote

During their last league match against Rajasthan Royals in the IPL 2022, Dhoni terminated his retirement queries and said,  "Definitely, because it will be unfair not to say thank you to Chennai. Won't be nice to do that to CSK fans... Mumbai is one place where I got a lot of affection. Hopefully next year teams will be travelling and it will be an opportunity to say thank you to all the venues. Regarding me continuing in the IPL, Hard to say what's going to happen in two years."

Now that, Thala has thanked the home crowd at the Chepauk since IPL's return to the Chennai stadium for the first time in four years and received a glorious reception at the Eden Gardens, chances are high that the CSK skipper will hang his boots at the end of the season.