Hard thing would be to work hard for nine months and try to play another IPL: Dhoni

Ahmedabad: Chennai Super Kings’ triumphant captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has not yet ruled out playing in the IPL next year but said for that to happen, his body will have to hold up.

Under the 41-year-old Dhoni’s leadership, CSK won a record-equalling fifth IPL title with a five-wicket victory over Gujarat Titans here on Monday.

“Circumstantially, this is the best time to announce my retirement. But the amount of love I have received all over, the easy thing would be to walk away from here, but the harder thing would be to work hard for nine months and try to play another IPL,” Dhoni said after the final.

“It would be a gift from me, won’t be easy on the body,” he said.

Speaking about the match, Dhoni said, “Every trophy is special, but what is special about IPL is every crunch game you need to be ready. There were lapses today, the bowling department didn’t work, but it was the batting department that took the pressure off them today.”

Gujarat Titan’s Hardik Pandya, despite facing defeat against the CSK said, “I’m very happy for him (MS Dhoni), destiny had this written. If I had to lose, I’d rather lose to him. Good things happen to good people, and he’s been one of the best people I know.”

Meanwhile, Chennai Super Kings’ middle-order batter Ambati Rayudu said he can afford to smile for the rest of his life after a “fairytale finish” to his cricketing career.

Rayudu, who had announced his decision to stop playing IPL just before the final against Gujarat Titans, said his hard work for the last 30 years has paid rich dividends.

“It’s a fairytale finish. I couldn’t have asked for more. I’m fortunate to have played in really great sides. I can smile for the rest of my life. All the hard work I’ve done in the last 30 years, I’m happy I got to finish on this note. I would really like to thank my family, my father. Without them this wouldn’t have been possible,” said Rayudu after CSK beat Gujarat Titans by five wickets in the IPL final.

CSK all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who hit a six and four in the last two balls to seal the record-equalling fifth title for CSK, dedicated the win to skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who probably played his last IPL game on Monday.

“Feels amazing, winning my fifth title in front of my home crowd. I’m from Gujarat, and it’s a special feeling. This crowd has been amazing. They were waiting for rain to stop till late night, I’d like to say a big congratulations to the CSK fans who came to support us.

“I’d like to dedicate this win to a special member of the CSK side, MS Dhoni,” he said.