MS Dhoni ushered with love in Kolkata, Eden paints in Yellow as CSK skipper accepts ‘farewell’ Love

Dhoni, who probably played his last match at the iconic venue, led Chennai Super Kings to an emphatic 49-run win over Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL on Sunday (April 23). Eden is known for supporting an away side in past as well, but it was a different spectacle on Sunday.

The love for Dhoni was vibrant and vivid as the entire stadium looked painted in Yellow, which was kind of baffling to understand whether the match was being played at Eden or the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.

“I have played a lot of cricket over here. I had a job at Kharagpur which was two hours from here. The love comes from there,” Dhoni said at the toss, overwhelmed by the response.

At the commentary, Ravi Shastri also endorsed the view, saying, “It’s the sea of yellow in Eden, tribute to one man. He’s the King of East, it’s MS Dhoni.”

There was, however, no official word from CSK that Dhoni was playing his last season for the franchise but the 41-year-old has hinted few days back that he is in the last phase of his career.

And as Ajinkya Rahane and Shivam Dube were going berserk in their 85-run stand, loud chants of ‘We want Dhoni’ reverberated the Eden Gardens.

Some fans even carried playcards where it was written, “Dear Mahi, take my life and play 100 years more.”

Dhoni finally made a grand entry after the dismissal of Rahane with two balls left in CSK’s innings. All the fans greeted him by flashing their mobile phone cameras as he remained unbeaten on two from three balls.

“We want a helicopter shot,” shouted the fans as he gave a big heave but could not connect with the ball.

Dhoni finally got off the mark in the last ball of the match with a thump to long-off.

Not just from the city, fans have arrived here all the way from Cooch Behar in North Bengal like Anita Harijan, who had come with her four-year-old daughter.

“I boarded the train on Saturday night. I stayed up all night in the general compartment. I finally came to Eden. I want to see Dhoni from the front,” she said.

Another fan Alka Patnaik, who had come to Eden with six friends from Odisha says she just wanted to see the former India captain.

“I came from Odisha to Kolkata to see Dhoni. I want to enjoy the KKR vs Chennai match with my friends. I won’t take my eyes off Mahi for a moment,” Alka, who had CSK written on her cheek, said with a smile.

Such was the never-seen Dhoni fever that gripped Eden on Sunday. The CSK captain also thanked the Eden crowd for their support and acknowledged their love for him, as he probably played his final game at the iconic venue.

Eden has previously roared for Sourav Ganguly’s Pune Warriors India, when the hometown boy donned the Pune colours against Kolkata Knight Riders. But Dhonimania was greater, it completely took over the City of Joy, as KKR players must have felt it was an away game.

Each CSK run was cheered with a roar, and each KKR wicket recorded an equal decibel of a vibrant Kolkata crowd, but it was all for one person, the man with the no. 7 behind his back in the Yellow shirt.

(with inputs from PTI)

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