A huge blow for Chennai Super Kings as the team’s veteran batsman Suresh Raina has decided to pull out from the 2020 Indian Premier League season due to personal reasons, and has flown back to India from UAE.
The surprising news was undisclosed earlier this Saturday morning by Chennai Super Kings CEO Kasi Viswanathan via the team’s official Twitter handle.
“Suresh Raina has returned to India for personal reasons and will be unavailable for the remainder of the IPL season. Chennai Super Kings offers complete support to Suresh and his family during this time,” the tweet read.
Suresh Raina has returned to India for personal reasons and will be unavailable for the remainder of the IPL season. Chennai Super Kings offers complete support to Suresh and his family during this time.
— Chennai Super Kings (@ChennaiIPL) August 29, 2020
The netizens expressed grief on this sudden decision by the beloved cricketer.
“Wishes and thoughts with you fella! Tc 😇” commmented former Indian cricketer Pragyan Ojha.
Wishes and thoughts with you fella! Tc 😇
— Pragyan Ojha (@pragyanojha) August 29, 2020
The news comes as a hurricane for Chennai Super Kings, as only yesterday the franchise reported 13 COVID-19 positive cases within the contingency. The cases include 12 support staff and one pace bowler who has also played for India at the international level.
Suresh Raina announced retirement from international cricket on 15th August 2020 alongside teammate and CSK skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni. The 33 year old batsman had travelled with the team to Dubai on 21st August, and underwent the mandatory six day quarantine period.
Raina has played for CSK in all of the previous IPL editions since 2008, except the 2016 and 2017 editions when the franchise was suspended. He captained Gujarat Lions in those two seasons.
Sources within the franchise revealed to Times of India that the recent spike of COVID-19 cases within the CSK contingent to be the reason behind Raina’s sudden decision to pull out of the tournament.
“He (Raina) was badly psyched up and worried. Eventually, everybody else realised there was no point holding him from travelling back because he was totally gripped by fear,” said the sources.
The CSK vice captain is the highest run scorer for the team, and has scored 5,368 runs across all editions. In 2019, Raina became the first IPL batsman to score 5000 runs agains Royal Challengers Bangalore.
With Raina out of the entire IPL 2020 season, its a huge setback for the three time champions.