New Delhi: Back in the Indian Premier League after a two-year gap, things didn’t really start according to plan for Chennai Super Kings as they had to shift their home from the M.A. Chidambaram Staium in Chennai to the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune due to the Cauvery protest in the state. While pundits felt that it would be a task for the team to adapt to conditions at their new home, the groundsmen at the MCA Stadium did a brilliant job. The end result was that CSK won 5 out of the 6 games they played, beating Kings XI Punjab in the final game to qualify for the knockout stages as the second team in the points table. They finished with 18 points from 14 games.
Acknowledging the terrific job done by the unsung heroes, Mahendra Singh Dhoni planned to gift the groundsmen Rs 20,000 each on behalf of Chennai Super Kings and that is not all. They also get a framed photo with Captain Cool — clicked earlier during the season.
Speaking to CricketNext, a source in the team management said that it was a small token of appreciation from the players and the team management for the brilliant effort put in by the Pune groundsmen at such a short notice.
“Dhoni will meet the groundsmen at the end of the game tonight and gift them Rs 20,000 each and also give them a photo with the CSK skipper that has been framed for each and every groundsmen. They did a great job and their effort needs to be duly rewarded,” he said before the start of the game against KXIP.
After the opening game against Kolkata Knight Riders at the Chepauk, CSK played their second home game on April 20 at the MCA Stadium against Rajasthan Royals and won by 64 runs. In the next game against Mumbai Indians, the defending champions won by 8 wickets. But after that, it was one win after the other for the Chennai outfit as CSK first beat Delhi Daredevils by 13 runs, beat Royal Challengers Bangalore by 6 wickets and Sunrisers Hyderabad by 8 wickets.
The pitch has played an integral role in skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s career over the years. Be it as captain of Chennai Super Kings or when he is helping out his Indian skipper Virat Kohli, the first things Dhoni does on entering the ground is to head to the pitch and take a look at how it is expected to pan out. And this act is a clear show of appreciation from the Man with the Midas touch for the effort put in by the MCA groundsmen to give the Chennai boys a feel of home away from home.