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Brendon to rejoin before play-offs

Calcutta: New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum, who has (not surprisingly) emerged such a key player for the Chennai Super Kings, will rejoin the franchise after the birth of his third child.

The baby, one learns, is due on Thursday.

“Brendon has permission to go home after the match against the Kolkata Knight Riders, on Tuesday. He will, however, come back before the IPL play-offs,” a top Super Kings official told The Telegraph on Monday evening.

McCullum, therefore, will only miss the last two league matches — versus the Sunrisers Hyderabad and against the Royal Challengers Bangalore.

The play-offs begin on May 27, with Qualifier No.1 featuring the top two teams in the league phase of IPL VII.

At this stage, the Super Kings are No.2 on the points table, behind the Kings XI Punjab, the revelation of this edition.

For the record, the Super Kings have won the IPL twice and finished runners-up thrice. The one remaining time, back in 2009, they were No. 4.

The negative headlines (thanks to one Gurunath Meiyappan) notwithstanding, fact is that no IPL franchise has been more successful than the Super Kings.

Right through, from 2008, the India Cements-owned franchise has been captained by the one and only Mahendra Singh Dhoni.