With only weeks to go before the start of IPL 2020, Chennai Super Kings has been facing multiple hurdles. In addition to the multiple COVID-19 cases emerging within the contingent currently present in UAE, to the sudden exit of the team talisman Suresh Raina has been a massive blow for the three time champions. However N Srinivasan, the franchise owner and former BCCI president, claims Raina will regret his decision and will fly back to the IPL venue.
On 29th August, Chennai Super Kings CEO Kasi Viswanathan confirmed on Twitter that Suresh Raina, the vice captain of the squad has returned to India, citing the reason as ‘personal’.
While there are many speculations regarding the reason behind Raina’s sudden decision, including the sudden spike of COVID cases within the team, and the attack on his relatives in Pathankot, some reports have also suggested there was a small rift between him and the captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni regarding the condition of hotel room.
N Srinivasan opens up on the incident, stating that the veteran batsman will regret the decision and will return back to UAE for the tournament.
Sometimes success gets into your head: CSK owner N Srinivasan on Suresh Raina exit
Suresh Raina, who has been a founding member of Chennai for all the past editions, has for the first time decided to walk out on IPL. However, N Srinivasan says he is not forceful to the players’ choices.
“Cricketers are like prima donnas … like the temperamental actors of the olden days,” the owner spoke to Outlook, “Chennai Super Kings have always been like a family and all seniors players have learnt to co-exist.”
“My thinking is that if you are reluctant or not happy, go back. I don’t force anyone to do anything … sometimes success gets into your head,” the 75 year old added.
Raina earns a salary of a whopping 11 crores per IPL season, and Srinivasan believes it will be a big factor behind the player regretting his shock exit: “The season has not begun yet and Raina will certainly realise what he is missing and certainly all the money he is going to lose.”
Ruturaj Gaikwad: Next big name in CSK?
Now with Raina out of the contingent, the most likely replacement for the 33 year old is Ruturaj Gaikwad, the young 23 year old, whom Srinivasan claims to be the next icon for the team.
“He (Ruturaj Gaikwad) is an outstanding batsman and will get a chance now. Ruturaj can become the star of the show, who knows?”said Srinivasan.
On the other hand, sources within the franchise have claimed that Gaikwad and Deepak Chahar are the two cricketers who have tested COVID positive, along with about a dozen support staff. Although, Srinivasan claims there’s no reason to lose sleep over it.
“I spoke to MS (Dhoni) and he has assured me that even if the numbers go up, there was nothing to worry,” the franchise owner went on, “He spoke to the players through a zoom call and asked them to remain safe. You really don’t know who is a passive carrier.”