Former India cricketer Ambati Rayudu called time on his cricketing career across all formats earlier this year. Following the victory in the Indian Premier League 2023 finals against the Gujarat Titans at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Rayudu bid adieu to his illustrious IPL journey.
The former CSK batter Rayudu is notable for having represented both the Mumbai Indians and the Chennai Super Kings in the tournament, delivering outstanding performances for the top two teams and earning admiration from fans on both fronts. However, in a recent interview with Ranveer Allahabadia, Rayudu drew an intriguing comparison between the supporters of the two franchises.
Rayudu said that MI fans support teams rather than players, while CSK fans are MS Dhoni fans first. “What’s your take on Mumbai fans as a player?” the anchor asked. “As a player, I’d say Mumbai fans rally behind the Mumbai Indians more than any single player like ‘X’ or ‘Y’. They’re always there for the team, says Rayudu.
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Without him half of the stands will be empty: Rayudu
In addition to this, Rayudu even said that Chennai Super Kings fans, exhibit a distinct character compared to MI fans. He emphasized that the presence of MS Dhoni is crucial for filling even half of the stadium during CSK matches. Their primary allegiance is to Dhoni as fans, and then to the Chennai Super Kings. The stadium atmosphere, in their view, wouldn’t be as vibrant without Dhoni. Their enthusiasm is centred around being devoted fans of Dhoni, and it’s likely that without him, a significant portion of the stands would remain unoccupied.
“Chennai fans are a bit different. They prioritize being fans of Dhoni first, then the Chennai Super Kings. If Dhoni wasn’t in the picture, I don’t think the stadium atmosphere would be the same. They’re all about being Dhoni’s fans. Without him, half of the stands will be empty,” Rayudu said.
It’s important to highlight that in Dhoni’s absence, the Chennai Super Kings will have to identify a more dependable and consistent batsman. The team has also released players such as Ben Stokes and others. Rayudu has been one of the standout batsmen in the IPL‘s history, effectively filling the significant gap left by Suresh Raina in the squad.