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IPL 2019: Party Starts in Chennai as 12000 Turn Up for CSK Practice Game.

IPL 2019: Party Starts in Chennai as 12000 Turn Up for CSK Practice Game.

The Indian Premier League begins only on March 23, but the frenzy has already started in Chennai.

The home of the defending champions Chennai Super Kings, MA Chidambaram stadium, saw a packed house for - wait for it - an intra-squad training game! Yes, that's the craze with which fans follow the MS Dhoni-led side in Chennai.

According to the CSK website, the game saw as many as 12000 people witnessing from the stands, which were opened for free entry. Watch the madness in the videos below:

The first game of the tournament will see CSK take on Royal Challengers Bangalore in Chennai.

The venue saw only one match last season as CSK were forced to shift their home games to Pune following political protests in Chennai. It was a big blow to the Chennai fans, as CSK were out of action the previous two seasons as well when they were suspended after Gurunath Meiyapan, their team principal, was found guilty of betting.

Despite that, the craze among fans didn't reduce as the franchise organised special trains to Pune carrying fans. CSK went on to win the tournament, defeating Sunrisers Hyderabad in the final in Wankhede stadium.

CSK retained almost the entire squad from the previous season, getting in only Mohit Sharma and Ruturaj Gaekwad in the player auction. Mark Wood was left out while left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner comes in after missing the last season due to an injury.

Chennai are the most successful franchise in the IPL, having won the trophy thrice in nine seasons. They are the only side to have made it to the final four in every edition.

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