Dhoni fever, with over 100,000 supporters expected at the final

More than 100,000 people were anticipated to pack the world’s largest cricket stadium on Sunday for the Indian Premier League final and the potential farewell of superstar MS Dhoni.

In the final of the big-money T20 tournament, Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings will face the holders Gujarat Titans in Ahmedabad, looking for a record-equaling fifth trophy.

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Gujarat, captained by Hardik Pandya, will be no pushovers on their home stadium as they look to defend the crown they won in their maiden season a year ago.

In 2022, Pandya will lift the trophy in front of 101,566 fans at the 132,000-seat stadium, a global record for a T20 cricket match. However, organizers were sure that the record will be broken on Sunday evening.

“Tickets are sold out for the grand finale, and we are expecting a full house,” a state association media officer told AFP.

The organisers had expected a packed audience for the final playoff as well, but only approximately 75,000 supporters showed up for Gujarat’s thrashing of Mumbai Indians on Friday.

On Saturday, scores of supporters appeared optimistic as they waited to redeem their internet tickets at a booth outside the stadium.

Gujarat has had tremendous home support in their second season in the competition, but allegiances will be divided as a result of Dhoni’s arrival.

The 41-year-old is still a massive draw in cricket-crazy India, and the final game is expected to be his last as a player, despite the wicketkeeper-batsman indicating he will make a decision on his IPL future later this year.

The former India captain has sold out stadiums around the country this season, and the Narendra Modi Stadium will be no exception in the competition final.

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