[Pictures] Matheesha Pathirana’s family appear thrilled after meeting CSK captain MS Dhoni ahead of IPL 2023 final

MS Dhoni
Matheesha Pathirana's family clicked with CSK skipper MS Dhoni.

On Thursday, May 25, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) captain MS Dhoni met teammate Matheesha Pathirana’s family. The visit came just ahead of the IPL 2023 final.

Pathirana's family was apparently thrilled to meet the legendary skipper. The speedster’s sister, Vishuka, posted several snapshots of the meet on Instagram and dropped a heartwarming caption for ‘Captain Cool.’

She wrote:

“Now we are sure that Malli is in safe hands when Thala said “You have nothing to worry about Matheesha, he’s always with me. These moments were even beyond what I had ever dreamt of.”

Reacting to the post, the CSK pacer dropped a string of emojis.

It’s worth mentioning that Pathirana has delivered the goods as a death bowler for CSK in IPL 2023. The 20-year-old has scalped 17 wickets in 11 games at an economy rate of 7.72 in the T20 tournament so far.

MS Dhoni recently grabbed eyeballs as he made the umpires wait so that Pathirana could bowl the 16th over during Qualifier 1 against defending champions Gujarat Titans (GT) in Chennai on Tuesday, which CSK won by 15 runs.

For the unversed, an IPL player who leaves the field during the match for more than eight minutes must be on it for the same duration before being allowed to bowl. As per reports, Dhoni argued with the umpires that he had no other option than Pathirana. He reportedly agreed to slow over-rate and penalty, if any.

MS Dhoni and Lasith Malinga come up with contrasting reactions about Matheesha Pathirana’s future in Tests

In a recent interview, MS Dhoni said that Matheesha Pathirana should not play red-ball cricket if he wants to prolong his career, given his distinct bowling action. The 41-year-old told Jio Cinema:

"I personally think he is not someone who should play a lot of red-ball cricket. I think he shouldn't even get close to it. Even in white-ball cricket, the 50-over version he should play as less as possible.”

He continued:

"But make sure that he is fit and available for all ICC tournaments, and he will be a great asset for Sri Lanka. I feel he will serve for a very long time for Sri Lankan cricket, but we'll have to keep an eye on how much he bowls."

Sri Lanka legend Lasith Malinga, though, feels that there is nothing wrong with Pathirana playing red-ball cricket. He told ESPNCricinfo:

“MS Dhoni is saying he should just play ICC tournaments. I wonder if he's just saying that for fun (laughs). It's hard to do that when you're playing for the national team. I think anyone who tells him not to play red-ball cricket is doing that because they think he will get injured.”

Pathirana will next be seen in action for CSK in IPL 2023 final in Ahmedabad on Sunday. The Chennai-based outfit will face the winner of Qualifier 2, which is between Mumbai Indians and Gujarat Titans.

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Edited by Rachel Syiemlieh
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