Ex Chennai Super Kings cricketers are excited about the return of the much-decorated franchise after the 2015 Indian Premier League season. The Lions won the IPL twice, reached the final on four other occasions and made it to the Playoffs in all eight seasons that they featured in.
“People in Chennai and fans across the world are waiting for CSK to return. I hope it turns out to be a good comeback,” Ravichandran Ashwin told the Times of India newspaper. The wily off-spinner took 90 wickets for CSK and was a key figure for seven seasons after making his debut in 2009.
Former pacer Lakshmipathy Balaji recollected the buzz that invariably surrounded the team. The Tamil Nadu bowler turned out for CSK in the first three seasons and also recorded IPL’s first hat-trick, against Kings XI Punjab in Chennai in the inaugural year.
“There is always an air of expectation about CSK owing to their exceptional achievements, stunning victories, both home and away, and not to forget their domination at home,” said Balaji, who subsequently played for two other franchises.
“I’m sure CSK’s multi-million strong fan base is eagerly awaiting the team’s return, a prelude to that was possibly the sea of Yellow at the Chidambaram Stadium during the launch of the second edition of the Tamil Nadu Premier League,” added Balaji.
Subramaniam Badrinath, who played for CSK in the first six seasons, said cricket aficionados in the city were looking forward to IPL action returning to Chepauk.
“Clearly CSK was sorely missed and I’m sure the team’s return will further boost the League,” added Badrinath, who scored 1,441 runs at an average of 30.65 and a strike rate of 118.89 for CSK.
Meanwhile, Chennai’s own Dinesh Karthik, who has played for five different IPL franchises, is yet to don the Yellow. “Whenever I speak about CSK it brings a smile to my face. It’s my home team,” the wicketkeeper-batsman told the Tamil Nadu Premier League website.
“I would love to play for them but it also depends on the team composition. If by luck I get into the team nothing like it, I’ll keep my fingers crossed for the auction,” he added.