After serving a two-year ban from the Indian Premier League (IPL), Chennai Super Kings are all set make a grand re-entry to the country's cash-rich T20 tournament. One of the most successful teams in IPL history, Chennai's return evoked all kinds of responses, including the one from their former captain, MS Dhoni.
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The 36-year-old shared a photograph of himself wearing his iconic yellow 'No. 7' jersey with 'Thala' (which means 'leader' in Tamil) written on the back. Ever since his Instagram post went viral, the speculations about a potential reunion between the former Indian captain and his former club has gathered storm.
Following the footsteps of Dhoni, former CSK spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, too, made a statement regarding the comeback of the IPL giants. But, while Dhoni managed to capture the imagination of the fans, Ashwin's latest comments seems to have irked them.
Asked to comment on Chennai's return to IPL fold, Ashwin said: "I think the two-year hiatus for CSK probably increases its value much like what it did for Manchester United when the air crash happened (in 1958, when 23 people - including eight players died)".
"I don't know if it's in the same league but surely people in Chennai and fans across the world are waiting for CSK to return. I hope it turns out to be a good comeback," he added further while talking to TOI.
Though Ashwin probably wanted to compare Chennai's popularity and fanfare with that of Man Utd, his example (using the Munich air disaster) triggered a massive backlash on social media.
Ashwin comparing CSK hiatus to Manchester United's Munich air crash is the stupidest thing I have read all week. Stick to bowling saar.— Ram (@KuttiJetti) July 19, 2017
what happend at Munich was a tragedy a huge loss and what your team did was a fraud https://t.co/RVc6Xk93jz— Maninder GREWAL (@manigrewalMUFC) July 19, 2017
People lost their lives in the Munich air disaster a great team lost forever. No one lost they lives cheating taxes for CSK. Get a life Ravi— Rabyna Choudhry (@Rabyna46) July 19, 2017 July 19, 2017
did you're teammates die no don't compare a ban to fatalities #GGMU— Jarryd Anderson (@ando17031993) July 19, 2017
The Red Devils squad had been returning home from a European Cup tie in Belgrade on the 6 of February, 1958 when their British European Airways flight crashed on take-off following a refuelling stop at the Munich-Riem Airport. Ten years later, the team - including two survivors of the crash, Bobby Charlton and Bill Foulkes - became the first English winners of the European Cup with a victory over Benfica at Wembley.
Reacting to the response his comments evoked, Ashwin took to Twitter to clear the air. “Guys please take the reporting with a pinch of salt with respect to the Munich tragedy and CSK. All I said was the break will make the fans turn up in numbers when the comeback happens. Not required to blow it out of context.”
Guys please take the reporting with a pinch of salt with respect to the Munich tragedy and CSK. All I said was the break will make the ..— Ashwin Ravichandran (@ashwinravi99) July 19, 2017
Fans turn up in numbers when the come back happens. Not required to blow it out of context.— Ashwin Ravichandran (@ashwinravi99) July 19, 2017
Now all those who hate me, please get off my mentions, we will catch-up sometime later when I get misquoted again. Thanks🙏— Ashwin Ravichandran (@ashwinravi99) July 19, 2017
The 30-year-old off-spinner is part of the Indian team which will lock horns with Sri Lanka in three Tests, five ODIs and one-off T20I, slated to begin from 26th July.