The Chennai Super Kings (CSK) captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni who is fondly given the title of Thala never gets short of supporters and when he touched down in Chennai for the 2020 Indian Premier League, the love showered was no different.
A video is doing the rounds on social media in which ecstatic fans are lined up to get a glimpse of Dhoni.
Later when Dhoni went to the the the M A Chidambaram Stadium his fans followed him. He returned to training amid never-ending speculation on his career, which has been on hold since last year's ODI World Cup.
Chants of "Dhoni, Dhoni...." were heard as he entered the M A Chidambaram Stadium and he obliged his fans with some big hits during the net session.
A few hundred fans gathered to watch the CSK players as they began practice for the forthcoming IPL, which begins on March 29.
The talismanic 38-year-old wicket-keeper batsman, who led India to two world titles, got down to work with some other team members. CSK's full camp will begin on March 19.
After jogging around for a while and doing some stretching, Dhoni put on his pads and launched a few big hits in his trademark style.
Dhoni has not played since the World Cup semifinal loss to New Zealand last year and has maintained a stoic silence on what his next move would be. He was dropped from the BCCI's list of centrally contracted players in January.
Among other CSK players who were part of the training on Monday were Ambati Rayudu, Murali Vijay, new recruit Piyush Chawla, Karn Sharma and local boys R Sai Kishore and N Jagadeesan.
This year's IPL begins with CSK taking on defending champions Mumbai Indians in Mumbai on March 29.
The three-time IPL champions had picked up veteran leggie Chawla, Australian pacer Josh Hazelwood, England all-rounder Sam Curran and left-arm spinner R Sai Kishore during the players' auction held in December last year.