IPL 2023: The fan-tastic day Gavaskar ran for Dhoni's signature on his shirt

A sprightly 72-year-old Little Master, now TV pundit for the official broadcasters, ran after Dhoni to get the CSK legend’s autograph, while hoping for his return as an 'impact player' next season

M.S. Dhoni signs Sunil Gavaskar's shirt after CSK loses the final match of the season. (Photo: Twitter/ @ChennaiIPL)
M.S. Dhoni signs Sunil Gavaskar's shirt after CSK loses the final match of the season. (Photo: Twitter/ @ChennaiIPL)

Gautam Bhattacharyya

It’s a moment which has been breaking the internet since Sunday evening—the legendary Sunil Gavaskar playing fan boy to Mahendra Singh Dhoni after the Chennai Super Kings vs Kolkata Knight Riders match at the Chepauk Stadium yesterday.

After a surprise loss in their last home match of the season to KKR, the CSK players—including skipper Dhoni—did a special lap of honour around their fortress. They thanked some of their fans with posters. Dhoni used a racquet to hit a few balls into the stands, and also threw CSK jerseys to supporters.

This was when Little Master Sunil Gavaskar, now a sprightly 72 and playing the role of TV pundit for the official broadcasters, was seen running after Dhoni—literally—to take the CSK legend’s autograph on his shirt.

After a smiling Dhoni obliged, the duo hugged each other—creating a fan-tastic moment that overshadowed the match-winning partnership between Nitish Rana and Rinku Singh a little earlier.

The fans called it ‘the best moment of IPL 2023’, as the million-dollar question began doing the rounds again—will the ongoing IPL be his swansong or will the 41-year-old be available for another season?

Gavaskar himself offered the solution: he wanted to see arguably the most successful Indian skipper as the 'impact player' next season.

“KP [Kevin Pietersen] spoke about it earlier, about the impact player. As an impact player, he [Dhoni] can stick around and play. Players like him come once in a century, not even once in a generation. And therefore, you just want to see more and more of them. We are hoping this is not the last hurrah and that he will be around for some more time to come,” Gavaskar said.

Meanwhile, King Rinku Singh was not far behind the legendary Gavaskar!

This season, Dhoni has been receiving emotional send-offs even at all his away matches, though he has not said anything about his retirement from IPL after this season.

We will have to wait and watch... and hopefully, get to keep watching!

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