Mumbai: If Thala MS Dhoni launches his helicopter as Chennai Super Kings’ (CSK) Indian Premier League (IPL) comeback, it will drive the Whistle Podu gang nuts. While there is no doubt that Dhoni – the big hitter will once again be a talking point if that happens, the focus should also be on the bats he will be using during the eleventh edition of the tournament which kicks off at the Wankhede Stadium as CSK take on defending champions Mumbai Indians.
The team hotel in Mumbai was abuzz with the CSK fans on Friday, and the cricketers obliged fans with photos and autographs. However, amidst all that frenzy Dhoni was handed over a fresh set of bats, wrapped in military-styled case, before he left for the team practice, some 20-minutes after the other members of the team.
“This is the second lot of bats that we wanted to give. The round toe he wanted was missing in the first set. That’s why we gave the second lot and hence, there was a delay. For IPL matches, he needs more curve on the bats and more round toe. Normally for India games, he uses different bats,” said Vikram Thakur, Export Manager of Spartan Sports India.
“Four-five days ago, he sent a message to Kunal (Sharma, Founder, Spartan Sporting Goods) that he wanted five bats with lighter wood and (in) that particular shape,” he added.
While the International Cricket Council states that the edges of the bat should not be more than 4 centimetres (40 mm), the rule sees a little relaxation in IPL as the edges can be extended up to 4.1 centimetres (41 mm).
When asked where the difference in bats for IPL and international cricket is because of the new ICC rules of cricket bats, Thakur said, “Rules are changed, you can’t go beyond 40 mm (edges). Rules are there in IPL also but not to that extent. In international matches, ICC have an eye on you. In IPL, you can go (make changes in bat) but only till certain extent.”
This is the fifth year of Dhoni’s association with the sporting manufacturer, who are also associated with Michael Clarke, Chris Gayle, Sachin Tendulkar, Kevin Pietersen and Michael Clarke on board....