On Wednesday, all players and support staff (barring those that had tested positive earlier) tested negative for covid-19. While other teams have begun their practice in UAE, CSK will resume their sessions in the coming days.
Despite the difficult situation CSK finds itself in ahead of the tournament which starts on September 19, the three-time champions’ fans are firmly rooting for it. “In general, we are happy to have the IPL back and it will be great to connect with our friends through this tournament. Also, we as fans believe if there is one team which thrives under pressure and tough situations — it has to be the Chennai Super Kings. The tougher the situation, the better has been our team’s performance. We are firmly rooting for CSK and still feel our team will come out on top,” said Prabhu Damodaran, co-founder of CSK’s Whistle Podu army.
While Damodaran, who has been CSK’s fan since the inaugural season of the IPL, will miss the team in action at Chepauk, he hopes that crowds could be allowed during the course of the season in the UAE. “We are hopeful that fans could be allowed after following the necessary precautions. We have enough CSK fans there and will be out at the stadiums cheering for MS Dhoni and his boys,” Damodaran enthused.
Damodaran is also hopeful that Raina could return to the team as the season progresses. “I am not sure if he will be there at the start of the tournament, but a couple of weeks down the line there could be a possibility. Having said that, the absence of Raina gives an opportunity for the CSK management to look at other players as well,” assessed the 42-year-old.
Damodaran is clear that CSK’s successes over the years have been built on two key factors. “The non-interference of the CSK management in cricketing matters and the trust the team places on its players — is what drives the team. CSK management leaves matters pertaining to the game to skipper Dhoni and the support staff. Players over the years have always felt that they get a lot of freedom to express themselves in CSK,” said Damodaran.