IPL 2020: CSK CEO on how MS Dhoni's one text convinced for a Chennai camp amid COVID-19 pandemic
Prior to their departure to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the upcoming thirteenth season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), three-time champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) held a five-day training camp in Chennai earlier this month. CSK CEO Kasi Viswananthan has in a video released by the franchise spoken about how no other team had organized a camp as such the one held recently, while adding that it was a single text message from captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni that convinced him to conduct a camp before they headed to the UAE.
"When we announced the tournament is going to happen, I had reservations about conducting the camp here because the bio-bubble had to be created. In fact sent a message to him (asking) whether it will be worthwhile having a camp for 5 days before going to Dubai. But the captain was crystal clear in his thoughts," Mr Viswanathan told.
He added, "He (Dhoni) said 'Sir, we have not played for nearly 4-5 months. All of us need to get together in Chennai. We should be in a bio-bubble in Chennai so that we get used to that when we land in Dubai'. And also it helped in the boys getting in shape. This camp, though we had some reservations, has really helped. I am very happy we were able to host the camp."
Several CSK players had taken part in the camp at Chennai among whom were Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Murali Vijay, Deepak Chahar, Ambati Rayudu, Shardul Thakur, while veteran India spinner Harbhajan Singh and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja could not participate owing to personal reasons.
Speaking about the camp before the start of IPL 2020, CSK player Ambati Rayudu said, "To get us back into the mix, this is very, very important. Even when we go to Dubai, we have to quarantine for six days. So this is crucial,". Fellow team member Chahar too chipped in saying,"Now everyone is on the same page. No one has played cricket for 5 months. We all are equal. I think we will be better because we have the experience,".
The cash-rich 53-day IPL 2020 will be held starting on September 19, with the final to be played on November 10. Chennai Super Kings will want to secure yet another championship this year and equalize the record for the most number of tournament wins currently held by the Mumbai Indians, who have won on four occasions to date.
Watch the video released by CSK below: