IPL 2020: Maybe they thought I am retiring - MS Dhoni on giving away signed jerseys this season

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MS Dhoni reiterated he is 'definitely' not retiring from the Indian Premier League but conceded that quite a few thought he was going to bow out of the shorter format too as he was giving away signed jerseys to opposition stars throughout IPL 2020.

MS Dhoni was seen giving away quite a few of his signed Chennai Super Kings jerseys to the likes of Hardik Pandya, Jos Buttler among others at the end of their matches in the UAE. With the former India captain retiring from international cricket and doubts over the future of the aging CSK squad's future, there was certainly a question mark over MS Dhoni's future in the IPL.

However, MS Dhoni, with a smile and two words, confirmed he would be returning to play the IPL in 2021. After Chennai Super Kings defeated Kings XI Punjab on Sunday to finish their season on a high with a hat-trick of wins, Dhoni stressed he is not going away anytime soon and pointed out that the next IPL is just a few months away and it allows him to prepare and come back stronger.

"Everybody is picking jerseys from me, thinking that I'll retire from the shorter format too, now that I've retired from international cricket. But definitely not, IPL 2021 is just a few months away," Dhoni said.

Dhoni hoped there would be no further lockdowns as he said he would want to prepare well for IPL 2021, which is likely to be scheduled in the usual April-May window next year.

Time to hand it over to next generation: Dhoni on CSK revamp for IPL 2021

Dhoni and CSK's preparations for IPL 2020 were hampered by the Covid-19 pandemic as the aging stars had to stay away from competitive cricket and return to IPL without much match practice under their belt. Dhoni himself struggled for form throughout CSK's campaign and managed just 200 runs in 14 matches, finishing without a fifty for the first time in the history of IPL.

With Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh pulling out before the tournament and frequent injury concerns hampering the combination, the aging side struggled to get any momentum in the first half of the tournament. At the end of 11 matches, CSK had only 3 wins.

MS Dhoni pointed out that CSK will have to go for a revamp before next season and make use of the auction, which is likely to be held sometime before IPL 2021. It remains to be seen if the BCCI will go ahead with the mega auction as scheduled or have a mini-auction, considering the situation due to the pandemic.

"A lot depends on what BCCI decides about the auction. We need to slightly change our core group and looks for the next ten years. At the start of the IPL, we made a team that served us well for ten years. It's time to hand it over to the next generation," Dhoni said.

The 3-time title-winning captain sent a message to CSK fans, saying the franchise will look to come back stronger in IPL 2021.

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