Wait ends for CSK super fan
For two years, Saravanan Hari was a fan without a team. You remember him, don’t you? He is that cricket nut in yellow body paint with ‘CSK’ and ‘Dhoni’ inscribed all over his body, a permanent feature at the MA Chidambaram Stadium stands when Chennai Super Kings used to play the IPL.
For the last two editions though, the 31-year-old hasn’t had the chance to see his team from close after it was banned from the IPL for two years. “Chennai Super Kings is not just a team, it’s family. It was very difficult to spend two years not watching them play here. For two years, the IPL was boring,” said Saravanan, his voice almost choking after meeting his ‘thala’ MS Dhoni on way to practice. Saravanan said he supported Rising Pune Supergiants and Gujarat Lions over the last two years.
Logistics manager at a private firm, Saravanan said he enjoys the privilege of being on paid leave when CSK play in Chennai. “My boss always ensures that,” he said. He started watching every match since 2009 and by the next few years, Saravanan came to be known as the Super Fan who almost became the team mascot.
It isn’t easy though being the mascot. “It takes me three hours to paint myself. Removing it takes an hour and 45 minutes.”
The thought of being able to go through that routine from next year makes Saravanan emotional and excited. The next IPL is around seven months away but for Saravanan the wait ended when Dhoni posted a picture on Instagram of him wearing a yellow shirt with the name ‘Thala’ inscribed on its back.