In what was a befitting concluding act of an enthralling two-months-long Indian Premier League (IPL) campaign, Chennai Super Kings handed Gujarat Titans a five-wicket defeat, in Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium. Chasing a target of 171 runs in 15 overs, in a match spanning across three calendar dates, MS Dhoni’s team got over the finish line in the very last delivery, courtesy of Ravindra Jadeja scoring ten runs in the last couple of balls.
Here are all the important quotes you need to know from the post-match presentation ceremony:
Firstly, and perhaps, most importantly, MS Dhoni announced that retirement is not imminently on the cards, whilst also hinting at making a comeback in IPL 2024, as a return gift to his dedicated and loyal fans.
This is the best time to announce my retirement. But considering the amount of love I have received all over, the easy thing would be to walk away from here, and the harder thing would be working hard for nine months and try to play another IPL. It will not be easy on the body, but it will be my gift (to the fans).MS Dhoni
The losing skipper, Hardik Pandya stated that he is happy to see Dhoni lifting his fifth IPL title, given that he considers the 41-year-old his mentor.
I'm very happy for him (MS Dhoni), destiny had this written. If I had to lose, I'd rather lose to him. Good things happen to good people, and he's been one of the nicest people I know. God has been kind to him. God has been kind to me as well, but today he was with MS.Hardik Pandya
In one of the numerous sub-plots of the game, Ambati Rayudu also called curtains to his playing career in some fashion. He played an important cameo of 8-ball 19, helping Chennai get back in the game from a precarious situation.
It is a fairytale finish and I couldn't have asked for more. It's unbelievable. I am really fortunate to have played in some great teams. This win is something I will remember for the rest of my life, for all the hard work in the last 30 years, happy that it finished on this note.Ambati Rayudu
Albeit there have been unverified rumours of a rift with Dhoni and the CSK management circulating on social media platforms, Ravindra Jadeja quashed all such reports by dedicating the victory to Dhoni, whom he referred to as a ‘special member’ of the CSK family.
This crowd has been amazing. They were waiting for the rain to stop till late night. Want to say big congratulations to CSK fans. I want to dedicate this win to one of the special members of our team – MS Dhoni.Ravindra Jadeja
In what has been a terrific comeback season for Ajinkya Rahane, the veteran batter managed to script a happy last chapter by scoring 27 crucial runs in only 13 deliveries. He credited his skipper, alongside the team management, for his successful redemption bid.
Credit goes to CSK management and Mahi bhai. They said they would back me completely if I got an opportunity, and told me what my role was before the season. They did not interfere at all and the freedom which CSK gave me was massive. I am really happy with the way I batted.Ajinkya Rahane
The batting coach of CSK, Mike Hussey also credited Dhoni for the team’s triumph, whilst highlighting his effective communication with the youngsters.
He’s (Dhoni) an amazing human being. The biggest strength of MS is taking the pressure off the young guys. You saw a good example of that in the qualifier with Subhranshu Senapati. MS told him to calm down and he got us that big run-out. Tactically he is very smart, and he and Stephen Fleming complement each other very well.Michael Hussey
Pacer Deepak Chahar spoke about Ambati Rayudu’s determination, saying how the batter was always focused on playing a match-winning knock in the last match of his playing career.
Every time we had a discussion, he (Ambati Rayudu) kept telling me that I am going to win the final. The belief that he had was unbelievable.Deepak Chahar