Former India cricketer Suresh Raina shocked his fans when he all of a sudden pulled out of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 citing personal reasons. The left-handed batsman was ready for the thirteenth season as he had joined the one-week practice session of Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at their home ground in Chepauk before flying to United Arab Emirates (UAE).
After the 7-day training session in Chennai, when CSK contingent reached the Gulf nation, their 13 members, including two players, got COVID-19 positive. As per media reports, this somehow pushed the southpaw to return to India.
However, after returning home, Raina had kept the doors open for an IPL comeback as ‘Chinna Thala’ said that he might return soon. But, now it is confirmed that the 33-year-old won’t return to the UAE as CSK have removed his name from their official website.
Not only Raina, veteran spinner Harbhajan Singh too didn’t feature in the team’s section on the website. Bhajji had also skipped the IPL 2020 citing personal reasons.
We are not thinking about it: CSK CEO on Raina’s return
Earlier, CSK’s CEO Kasi Viswanathan had given hints that the team has moved on from Raina. He confirmed that the management is not thinking about the return of their number three batsman.
“We cannot look at (Suresh) Raina because he made himself unavailable, and we respect his decision and his space. We are not thinking about it,” said Viswanathan while speaking to ANI.
The absence of Raina has impacted CSK’s game as the ‘Yellow Army’ have only won one out of three matches so far. Faf du Plessis, who used to play as an opener for CSK, has been batting at number three. Murali Vijay, on the other hand, is opening the innings along with Shane Watson.
Despite the failures in two games, Viswanathan has promised CSK fans that they would bounce back in the tournament.
“I can assure the fans that we will bounce back strongly. It’s a game, and you have your good and bad days. But the boys know what they need to do and the smiles will be back,” CSK CEO added.
With just one win from three matches, the MS Dhoni-led side is sitting at the seventh spot in the points table. Their next game is against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) on Friday (October 2).