Dinesh Karthik RCB MS Dhoni CSK
MS Dhoni will be seen as an IPL player even though Chennai Super Kings remain suspended for two yearsShaun Roy/IPL/Sportzpics

MS Dhoni, who has been tagged as one of the greatest cricket captains of India, could be set to leave Indian Premier League (IPL) side Chennai Super Kings, to join another franchisee next year.

Dhoni has been a part of the Chennai franchisee of the IPL ever since the inception of the Twenty20 tournament in 2008. The wicket keeper-batsman has also remained the captain of the IPL side for all the seasons so far.

But now, there could be a shock exit for Dhoni from Super Kings, according to a report from The Times of India.

"Dhoni will definitely feature in the IPL for a new team. There is absolutely no pressure from CSK to stop him and the next edition of the IPL will see him in action," a source closely following the developments told TOI.

"He (Dhoni) is the Indian captain in ODIs and T20. How can he not play in an important event like the IPL?" the source added.

CSK, along with Rajasthan Royals, were suspended by the Supreme Court of India-appointed Justice Lodha committee earlier this year for their involvement in spot-fixing during the IPL 2013.

The teams will not be allowed to participate in the lucrative cricket league for the next two years, but the BCCI have confirmed that the teams will not be terminated.

Whatever be, the possibility of Dhoni sitting out of the IPL for these two seasons was heavily rumoured, but now it seems he will be continuing his association with the tournament with a different side.

"We won't say Dhoni's association with CSK is over, but for now, he will play for some other team," the source added.

Two new teams are set to join the IPL next year, and it is to be seen whether Dhoni opts a move to one of those teams, or whether he decides to join the rest of the existing IPL franchisees -- Kolkata Knight Riders, Mumbai Indians, Delhi Daredevils, Kings XI Punjab, Royal Challengers Bangalore, and Sunrisers Hyderabad.

The IPL is set to be a ten-team affair from 2018. It was also announced just days back that Chinese smartphone-maker Vivo is set to be the title sponsors of the tournament for the next two years.

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