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Business News/ Sports / Cricket News/  IPL 2024: CSK CEO opens up on MS Dhoni-Ruturaj Gaikwad captaincy switch, here's what he says
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IPL 2024: CSK CEO opens up on MS Dhoni-Ruturaj Gaikwad captaincy switch, here's what he says

Reacting to CSK's captaincy switch, the franchise's CEO, Kasi Viswanathan, said the smooth transition helped the fans and fellow team members.

Chennai Super Kings' captain Ruturaj Gaikwad fields the ball during the Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 cricket match between Royal Challengers Bengaluru and Chennai Super Kings at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on May 18, 2024. (Photo by Idrees MOHAMMED / AFP/File) (AFP)Premium
Chennai Super Kings' captain Ruturaj Gaikwad fields the ball during the Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 cricket match between Royal Challengers Bengaluru and Chennai Super Kings at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on May 18, 2024. (Photo by Idrees MOHAMMED / AFP/File) (AFP)

The Indian Premier League 2024 is nearing its conclusion with just two matches—a playoff and a final—left for the season. On 24 May, the second qualifier between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Rajasthan Royal will decide which team will play in the final with Kolkata Knight Riders on Sunday.

The 2024 IPL season saw a host of captaincy changes by franchises, including the five-time trophy winners Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings. While both teams could not qualify for the playoffs, Chennai Super Kings ended fifth in the points table, unlike MI, which topped from the bottom.

Before the season opener, CSK announced that legendary cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni's captaincy would be handed over to Ruturaj Gaikwad. On the other hand, MI handed Hardik Pandya the franchise captaincy, and he was replaced with Rohit Sharma.

ALSO READ: 'MS Dhoni can't leave…': CSK veterans reveal why Mahi may be back for IPL 2025

Though CSK's decision was not criticised or discussed, Hardik's taking over as MI was greatly criticised. He was booed at the Wankhede Stadium in the opening few matches.

Reacting to CSK's captaincy switch, the franchise's CEO, Kasi Viswanathan, said the smooth transition helped the fans and fellow team members. He didn't mention MI in this statement; however, it was visible.

“The discussions we had with the team management from before a couple of years when Ruturaj came into the CSK and started performing well, we felt that he will be a good choice to captain the side. Both Flem (Fleming) and MS (Dhoni) had long discussions with him, they had plans to make him as a future captain," Viswanathan told CSK in a YouTube video.

“His performances and also the way he approached the game, and his thoughts whenever he spoke with MS as well as Fleming… both of them felt that he'll be a good captain at CSK. And we were not disappointed. He led the side comfortably. The seniors also helped him. It has not affected his performance with the bat. He has continued to be a very consistent performer," he added.

“The pressure of captaincy has not affected him. We look forward to his contribution to CSK in the future. The pressure is too high because he's following the footsteps of MS Dhoni. Nobody can match him, but MS had the confidence that Rutu (Gaikwad) has it in him to do a very good job. The acceptance from the crowd really helped him for sure, that is for sure. Because if there is pressure from the crowd, you can imagine what happened to other captains."

Viswanathan noted the CSK management hasn't interfered in cricket-related decisions which helepd Gaikwad with clarity in decision-making.

“I think CSK fans accepted what MS Dhoni had given to Ruturaj as captain because he (Dhoni) had chosen him. The team management chose him as the captain. And all of you know, never has the management of CSK interfered with the cricketing matters. So, that helped Rutu also, because he was very clear that the instructions have come from team management. He had the responsibility to deliver. I'm confident he will do very well in the future years also," said the CSK CEO.

“Definitely, the CSK management, as well as the fans, have helped the CSK team to do very well. That is important because there is no interference in creating matters with the team. They are left with their job to do. It adds more responsibility to the team. They know now there is not going to be interference from the management, which means they have to deliver. They are professionals; they have to deliver. That has helped us."

ALSO READ: MS Dhoni to reportedly undergo muscle tear surgery in London, decision on retirement in…

What AB de Villiers said:

Former Royal Challengers Bangalore star batter AB de Villiers, however, noted that MS Dhoni's decision to relinquish the captaincy position in CSK was a 'huge mistake'.

"I will only give you an honest answer if you're going to report it in the right way, yes, so I wouldn't say I called it a mistake. What I meant by that was with MS Dhoni around, playing against MS for so many years, that is the most intimidating sight to have him as an opposing captain," Hindustan Times quoted de Villiers as responding to a query from during a press interaction.

ALSO READ: MS Dhoni to announce retirement soon? Former CSK player says, ‘there is a reason…’

"They took away quite a bit of intimidation factor from CSK with not having him as captain. It's got nothing to do with Gaikwad’s captaincy. I actually think he's got a very bright future and he captained extremely well," he added.

"Just having MS around, I always felt like it's going to be a waste not having him as captain. They tried it before. It didn't work (when Jadeja was replaced mid season). And unfortunately, this year, yes, you've got to look at the results. The majority of the games they played well, but at the end of the day they didn't qualify for the knockouts. It's definitely not because of Gaikwad's captaincy. I do, however, ever feel that when MS is around, he should be captain," he added.

CSK in IPL 2024:

In the IPL 2024, CSK finished fifth with 7 wins and 7 loses in 14 matches throughout the season.

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Published: 23 May 2024, 03:19 PM IST
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