IPL 2018: CSK eyeing Michael Hussey for support staff role
Hussey played for the Super Kings for seven IPL seasons
What’s the story?
Two-time IPL champions Chennai Super Kings, slated for a comeback in IPL 2018, are looking to rope in former Australian batsman Michael Hussey as part of their support staff.
“We have been in talks with [Michael] Hussey. It will be great if things work out since he has played for us and possesses a great cricketing brain,“ said George John, director of CSK on Thursday .
In case you didn’t know…
Under MS Dhoni’s leadership, the Super Kings won back-to-back IPL title in 2010 and 2011, becoming the tournament's most successful side until the Mumbai Indians pipped them wiht triple triumphs. In 2013, Team Principal Gurunath Meiyappan was arrested on charges of placing bets, and the team, along with the Rajasthan Royals, was suspended for two seasons.
Before the suspension, Michael Hussey was a key member of the squad, scoring crucial knocks at the top of the order across multiple seasons. He was acquired by the Mumbai Indians for the 2014 season, but was released and retained by the Chennai franchise in 2015, playing his last IPL game the same year.
The heart of the matter
In a bid to retain their core team and bring consistency back post suspension, the Super Kings are also in talks to bring back their former coach, Stephen Fleming, to reprise his role. Prior to being Rising Pune Supergiant’s coach in the last two season, Fleming had been with the Chennai franchise, right from IPL’s inaugural season.
Recently seen in a commentator’s role for the Tamil Nadu Premier League 2017, Hussey’s relatively short but splendid international career saw him emerge as one of the best limited-overs finishers of the modern era. His playing career concluded with the Melbourne Stars earlier this year, which means he might have time to take up IPL coaching if it does come his way.
The suspension done away with, the Super Kings will return with the Rajasthan Royals at the expense of interim teams Gujarat Lions and Supergiant.
Across the eight seasons that they played as an IPL franchise, Chennai’s strength lay in their core set of players who revolved around Dhoni’s captaincy to consistently make it to the playoffs. The abrupt halt to their juggernaut surely sent the machinery haywire, but the franchise seem to be leaving no stone unturned to get salvage whatever they can for the next season.
Hussey’s possible inclusion will undoubtedly be a step in the right direction, as the Australian great is known for his sharp, tactical brain and thorough knowledge of the game. Also, being part of the same franchise as a player will give an edge over other possible candidates.