"Dhoni is playing father's role in my cricket life": CSK's Matheesha Pathirana

"Dhoni is playing father's role in my cricket life": CSK's Matheesha Pathirana
Image source: IPL

Chennai, Tamil Nadu: Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Sri Lankan pacer Matheesha Pathirana said that the legendary MS Dhoni plays a "father's role" in his cricket life and urged the cricketing icon to play for one more season in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

The five-time champions will be locking horns with Punjab Kings at Dharamshala on Sunday. This will be a crucial game for CSK as far as their playoff chances are concerned. The Yellow army is at the fifth spot in the points table with five wins and five losses, giving them a total of 10 points. On the other hand, PBKS is at the seventh spot with four wins, six losses and a total of eight points. In their previous game, PBKS won by seven wickets against CSK in Chennai on Wednesday.

Speaking at the Lions Upclose show by CSK, Pathirana said that Dhoni cares for him always, and gives him valuable advice as a cricketer.

"After my father, in my cricket life, mostly he (Dhoni) is playing my father's role because he is always taking care of me, giving me advice, what I have to do, similar to my father when I am at home. He tells just small things, but it makes a lot of difference. So those little things, I take a lot of confidence," said the Sri Lankan pacer.

Pathirana said that even though they do not talk much off the field, he would often go to Dhoni and ask him for whatever he needs.

"Every time he is telling me, 'Enjoy your game and take care of your body,' Mahi bhai, if you can play one more season, please play with us. If I am here," he concluded.

After impressing with his slingy action reminiscent of Sri Lankan pace legend Lasith Malinga, Pathirana made his debut for Lankan Lions following the IPL 2022. In 12 matches of the IPL 2023, he took 19 wickets at an average of 14.63, with best figures of 3/15 and played a crucial role in CSK's fifth title win. In the ongoing season, Pathirana has played just six games owing to injury and taken 13 wickets at an average of 13.00, with the best figures of 4/28.

CSK missed Pathirana's services as he returned to his home country to sort out visa issues ahead of the ICC T20 World Cup this year, starting in the West Indies/USA from June 1 onwards.