As you are ready to don the yellow jersey for the ninth time, a basket of memories comes to my mind.
My fascination and adoration towards you started in the year 2010.
It was the last league match of Chennai Super Kings and it was a must-win game for your team to qualify for semi-finals. Chasing a daunting target of 193, you pulverized the KXIP bowling attack and produced an absolute carnage by scoring an unbeaten 54 off just 29 deliveries.
The way you struck that winning hit against the backdrop of snow-capped mountains at Dharamshala was truly a sight to behold. The determination in your eyes after that knock clearly pointed out that you badly wanted to clinch the title.
Any fairy tale would not be complete without you in the picture. When Kieron Pollard was threatening to take the game away in the finals, it was only you who remained ice-cool and set a funky field by placing both straight mid-off and long -off.
And the magical moment unfolded. Albie Morkel dismissed Pollard and most importantly the catch was taken at mid-off. The formalities were completed and you triumphed in yellow colors for the first time. It was then I realized that you are not just an audacious stroke maker, but also a captain who possesses the ability to read the minds of the opposition.
Barring the controversy of illegal betting, CSK has always managed to put you in limelight. With each passing year, your association with CSK was only becoming stronger and stronger. Every time the second wicket fell, there would not be any tinge of disappointment or anguish from the crowd. Instead, there would be rapturous and thunderous chants of "Dhoni, Dhoni, Dhoni..." This is something which only the legendary Sachin Tendulkar has managed to achieve. What’s more bizarre is, it is only you who can make an away crowd turn towards you.
Only you hold the unique distinction of captaining the side across all seasons. Only you have the distinct record of possessing an average in excess of 40 plus for six seasons. Besides all these incredible records and stats, it only you and your charismatic leadership skills that have made fans like me and millions of others cling on to you.
The story of CSK is not just about three titles in nine seasons. It is about the eternal bond that exists between you and your ardent cricket fans. Time and again you have captivated the audience through your blistering cameos, unique bowling combinations, unorthodox field placings, and most importantly your insanely quick stumpings.
Nine years have gone by in a jiffy. But the memories that you have produced would be etched in my mind for eternity.
As you are approaching the twilight of your career, I urge you to bask in the glory of winning one more title for Chennai Super Kings.
I know you have set your eyes on the world cup for that it is the ultimate prize one could crave for. But the essence of emotions that you have managed to kindle in the hearts of countless fans, prompts me to tell you to go for the double prize.
Do not pressurize and burden yourself. Remember, just enjoy your game and have fun. Because when you have fun, we have fun too.
Yours truly, An ardent well-wisher.