A few days ago, MS Dhoni walked into the stadium in Ranchi to play what could possibly turn out to be his last match in the city. 

And the crowd erupted.

The city from where he started his journey, the city that gave him heartbreaks, failures but also love and success – that city did not let him down on possibly his last walk down the pitch there. 

But followers of cricket know that Chennai has given Dhoni as much love and acceptance as Ranchi has, and if anyone had doubts about it, they won’t after seeing this video of him walking inside the stadium for a practice match.

In case you missed it the first time, it was a PRACTICE MATCH.

Even Dhoni seemed surprised that so many people would gather to watch him play an intra-squad match and kept turning back to look at the stands of MA Chidambaram Stadium. 

Dhoni is their Thalaiva, an emotion almost. As a player and leader of Chennai Super Kings, he has been instrumental in their 3 wins in 11 seasons of IPL which makes them the joint most successful team along with Mumbai Indians.

But a reception like this for a non-competitive match proves that he is a bigger icon than we or even he himself can imagine. That entry, you know, has a separate fan base.