Chennai Super Kings (CSK) redeemed itself after a dismal performance last year to clinch the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 title but head coach Stephen Fleming still rates the 2018 final win as special and termed it "very emotional".
CSK, also knows as 'Dad's Army', lifted their fourth IPL title on Friday after defeating Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the final by 27 runs. Fleming said he is very proud to have won the IPL 2021 final since many pundits had written off CSK due to the absence of young blood in the side.
"It's very hard to rate them, they (IPL wins) all are specials as they are results of our hard work. I think the one coming back in 2018 was very emotional but there is a lot of hard work in this one too," Fleming said during the post-match press conference.
"If you look back when we were called Dad's Army in the first year (2018), I think a lot of people had no hope from us to maintain the competitiveness during this cycle.
"There is a satisfaction around and a lot of pride over what players have achieved. There was a challenge with the ageing side and I am very proud of what CSK have done and how they have played," he added.
For IPL 2022, two new teams are set to come in, and it needs to be seen how many players a franchise is allowed to retain before the mega auction.
Fleming knows it will be difficult to retain most CSK players and he is looking forward to see how things pan out ahead of the IPL 2022.
"We don't know (on being asked if this was an end of an era). But we know that whenever we get to the end of the cycle we know that we cannot get some players back," said Fleming.
"CSK always had a system where we maintain players and keep them with you for a long period of time and get the best out of them. It will be interesting to see how things pan out in the next few months. Most teams will have a change in them and we will be one of them," he added.