The Chennai Super Kings (CSK) players are currently sweating their guts out in the nets for the preparations of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The first game of the exciting T20 tournament will take place between CSK and four-time champions Mumbai Indians (MI) on September 19 in Abu Dhabi.
Since the ‘Yellow Army’ will feature in the tournament opener, they are showing utmost dedication in the practice sessions. However, they will miss explosive batsman Suresh Raina, who decided to pull out of the IPL a few weeks ago.
So far, the franchise has not named any replacement for Raina, but a recent report suggested that CSK is in negotiations with England’s Dawid Malan. A few days ago, Malan had secured number 1 position in ICC T20I rankings for batsmen.
With 129 runs in three matches, the left-handed batter was the highest run-scorer in the recently concluded T20I series against Australia. Malan scored runs at a strike-rate of 138.71 which explains that he is a decent strokemaker in the shortest format.
“These are just discussions; nothing has been finalized as such. Malan is a very accomplished T20 player. He is also a left-hander like Raina. But team management hasn’t taken any final call on whether to call for Raina’s replacement or not,” the CSK source told InsideSport on condition of anonymity.
CSK CEO denies reports of including Malan
Meanwhile, CSK CEO Kasi Viswanathan quashed the word on the street of replacing Raina with Malan. He said that Super Kings do not have a slot for a foreign player, so this rumour makes no sense at all.
“This is news to me as well because our quota of foreign players is already full. So I don’t know how we can have another foreigner in the squad,” Viswanathan told ANI.
Apart from Raina, off-spinner Harbhajan Singh was another member of the Chennai squad who had decided to pull out of the tournament citing personal reasons.
The 13th edition of the cash-rich league will be played across three venues in the UAE – Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Dubai.