MS Dhoni © IANS
MS Dhoni © IANS

MS Dhoni has been a part of the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) franchise right from the inception of the Indian Premier League (IPL), but with the franchise banned for the next two years and Pune and Rajkot emerging as the two new bases, he could finally be seen playing for a new team. Dhoni has been the captain of CSK, which was banned for two years by the Supreme Court after its official Gurunath Meiyappan was found guilty of betting in the cash-rich Twenty20 cricket tournament. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced on Tuesday that Pune and Rajkot have emerged as the bases for the two new franchises that will be replacing CSK and Rajasthan Royals for the next two years. ALSO READ — IPL 2016: Pune, Rajkot win bids for two new franchises; to replace Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals

Under the leadership of Dhoni, the Chennai Super Kings won the IPL title twice in 2010 and 2011. The Chennai Super Kings also won the now-defunct Champions League Twenty20 (CLT20) tournament twice in 2010 and 2014. ALSO READ: Why MS Dhoni refused to lead Jharkhand in Vijay Hazare Trophy 2015-16

Even though Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals were banned for the next two editions of the IPL, the BCCI had kept the option open for the new bidders to have their cricket teams in Chennai and Jaipur. However, going completely against what was expected, the two new teams will now be based in Pune and Rajkot.

Since the bidders were expected to retain Chennai rather than Jaipur, it was also assumed that Dhoni would continue to play for the Chennai-based franchise. Now, with Chennai shunned as the option for having an IPL team, Dhoni and other players such as Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Suresh Raina and the other overseas stars are expected to play for either of the Pune or the Rajkot-based franchises.