The Chennai Super Kings (CSK) are a franchise cricket team based in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, which plays in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Founded in 2008, the team plays its home matches at the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. The team served a two-year suspension from the IPL starting July 2015 for the alleged involvement of their owners in the 2013 IPL betting case, and won the title in its comeback season. The team is captained by Mahendra Singh Dhoni and coached by Stephen Fleming.
The Super Kings have lifted the IPL title thrice (in 2010, 2011 and 2018), and have the best win percentage among all teams in the IPL (61.28). They hold the records of most appearances in the playoffs (ten) and the Final (eight) of the IPL. They are the only IPL team to qualify for the playoff stage in each edition of their appearance in the league. In addition, they have also won the Champions League Twenty20 in 2010 and 2014. The brand value of the Super Kings in 2019 is estimated to be around ₹732 crore (roughly $104 million), making them the second-most valuable IPL franchise, after Mumbai Indians.
In September 2007, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced the establishment of the Indian Premier League, a Twenty20 competition to be started in 2008. In January 2008, the BCCI unveiled the owners of eight city-based franchises. The Chennai franchise was sold to the India Cements for $91 million, making it the fourth most expensive team in the league behind Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. India Cements acquired the rights to the franchise for 10 years. Former ICC Chairman N. Srinivasan was the de facto owner of the Chennai Super Kings, by means of his position as the vice-chairman and managing director of India Cements Ltd. The franchisee was transferred to a separate entity named Chennai Super Kings Cricket Ltd., after the Supreme Court of India struck down the controversial amendment to the BCCI constitution’s clause 6.2.4 that allowed board officials to have a commercial interest in the IPL and the Champions League T20 on 22 January 2015. During the first player auctions for the inaugural IPL season conducted in January 2008, the Chennai franchise bought a number of contemporary star cricketers such as Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Matthew Hayden, Stephen Fleming, Muttiah Muralitharan and Michael Hussey. Dhoni became the costliest player of the auction, as the Chennai franchise bought him for $1.5 million. The franchise named Dhoni as the captain of the team and appointed Kepler Wessels as the head coach. They played their first game on 19 April 2008 against Kings XI Punjab at Mohali. The Super Kings won the game by 33 runs after posting 240/5 in 20 overs, which was the highest total of the tournament, a record surpassed by themselves in 2010. The Super Kings ended the league stage with eight wins from 14 games and finished third on the points table. They beat the Kings XI Punjab by 9 wickets in the semifinal.
For the 2009 season, the Super Kings bought English all-rounder Andrew Flintoff for $1.55 million at the auction making him the highest-paid IPL cricketer along with English teammate Kevin Pietersen who was bought for the same amount by Royal Challengers Bangalore. However, Flintoff played only 3 matches for them before suffering a knee injury that ruled him out of the season. The Super Kings were also without the services of Hussey who had decided to skip the IPL season to focus on The Ashes. The Super Kings finished with 17 points from 14 matches and earned a second place at the league table. However, at the semi-finals, their hopes of entering the final for a second time were crushed by the Royal Challengers who beat them by 6 wickets. The Super Kings opener Matthew Hayden, who scored 572 runs in 12 innings with 5 half-centuries at an average of 52 and strike-rate of 145, won the Orange Cap for the leading run-scorer of the season and was also adjudged Player of the Tournament.
At the Champions League, the Super Kings were placed in Group A along with champions of Twenty20 competitions from Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and Sri Lanka. The Super Kings topped the Group table with three wins and a Super Over defeat to the Victorian Bushrangers. In the semi-final at Durban, the Super Kings comprehensively defeated IPL rivals Royal Challengers Bangalore by 52 runs. Raina won the Man of the match for his unbeaten 94 off 48 balls. The Super Kings played their first CLT20 final at Johannesburg where they beat the Chevrolet Warriors by 8 wickets, becoming the first IPL team to win the CLT20. Murali Vijay won not only the Man of the Match in the final for his 58 but also the Golden Bat for scoring the most runs in the tournament and Ashwin, who was the leading wicket-taker, was adjudged the Player of the Series. At the end of the season, Matthew Hayden decided to retire from the IPL.
The Super Kings have a 67.44% win record at this venue, which is often referred to as “Fortress Chepauk” and “Lions’ den”. In the 2011 season, the Super Kings won all their home games (8 matches) including the final against Royal Challengers Bangalore. The Super Kings thus became the first team to win all their home games in a season and also the first team to win the tournament at home.
In 2018, Chennai Super Kings managed to play a solitary home game against Kolkata Knight Riders due to members of a few fringe political parties staging protests outside the stadium as well as several parts of Chennai demanding the IPL matches to be moved out of the city until the Cauvery Management Board (CMB) was set up as directed by the honorable Supreme Court of India. Despite tight security for the match against KKR, the Chennai police expressed their inability in ensuring enough personnel at the venue for the smooth conduct of the remaining games. The remaining six home matches of Chennai Super Kings were moved out of Chennai. Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune was selected to host the remaining six home matches of Chennai Super Kings.