MUMBAI (Reuters) - Mahendra Singh Dhoni will return to play for the Chennai Super Kings in the next edition of the Indian Premier League, the former India captain confirmed on Sunday.
The 39-year-old called time on an illustrious, trophy-laden career for the national team in August, having not played for India since their semi-final exit at the 50-overs World Cup last year.
Chennai captain Dhoni struggled to find form with the bat during the ongoing edition of the IPL with his side failing to make the playoffs for the first time in their history in the T20 tournament.
Speculation has been rife over the future of Dhoni, who led India to World Cup titles in both T20 and one-day formats, as three-time IPL winners Chennai find themselves rooted at the bottom of the eight-team league.
Asked at the toss if Sunday’s final league game against Kings XI Punjab was his last in Chennai’s yellow jersey, Dhoni gave a prompt reply: “Definitely not”.
The playoffs and the final of this year’s IPL, which is being held in the United Arab Emirates due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will be played next week before the final on Nov. 10.
The three-team Women’s T20 Challenge will also be held from Nov. 4-9 in Sharjah alongside the IPL.
The country’s cricket board (BCCI) said that Jio, the telecom unit of Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries, will be the title sponsor for the women’s matches.
“We want to support and create concrete ways to grow the pipeline of women talent in cricket,” BCCI secretary Jay Shah said in a statement. “Our goal with the Women’s T20 Challenge is to build a pathway to a dedicated Women’s IPL.”
Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly; editing by Christian Radnedge
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