"We knew it was a struggle, but he never complained," CSK CEO Viswanathan on Dhoni's knee injury
New Delhi, India: Chennai Super Kings' chief executive officer, Kasi Viswanathan, has revealed that CSK skipper MS Dhoni's knee injury was a struggle for him, and yet he never complained about this to anybody.
Dhoni didn't miss a single match in CSK's IPL 2023 triumph. He led the team from the front and ensured that his team walked away with their fifth IPL title.
The former Indian skipper went through knee surgery at the beginning of this month to overcome this issue.
CSK CEO Viswanathan said that during the entire IPL, they never asked MS Dhoni to play if he did not want to. He said that they knew that if Dhoni was unfit, he would have made it clear well in advance.
"We never asked him things like 'do you want to play or do you want to sit out?' If he can't, he would've told us straightaway," Viswanathan said while speaking to ESPNcricinfo.
"We knew it was a struggle for him to play, but his commitment to the team, his leadership and how the team benefits everyone knows. From that perspective, you have to appreciate him," he said.
"Till the final, he never complained about his knee to anybody. Though everyone knew, and you would've seen him struggling while running, he never complained even once. After the final, he said, 'okay, I'll have a surgery'. He's finished his surgery, he's quite happy, he's recovering," Viswanathan added.
After securing their fifth IPL title Dhoni went on to reveal that the title-winning moment would be the "best time", but instead he vowed to return for "at least" one more season if his body allowed.
There are still nine months left before the next IPL season begins and Dhoni is about to begin his rehab soon after taking the rest of three weeks of post-surgery.
"Actually, he told us immediately after the final is over he'll fly to Mumbai, have surgery and go back to Ranchi for rehab," Viswanathan said.
"In Mumbai, after Ruturaj's wedding [on June 4], I visited him. It was a courtesy call. He's quite comfortable. He said he'll rest for three weeks and then start his rehab. And like he said, he's not going to play until January-February. We don't need to remind him about all that," Viswanathan said.
Viswanathan also went on to shed some light on what the future holds for Dhoni - if he will continue to play for another season or hang his boots for one final time.
"He knows what to do, how to go about it, so we aren't going to ask him 'what are you going to do, how' etc. He will inform us on his own. Whatever he's doing, he'll call first and inform only Mr N Srinivasan, not anyone else. Factually, he'll be straightforward with him. From him, we'll get the information that this is what he's doing. It's been this way since 2008. That's how it will continue," Viswanathan signed off.