Even before the start of this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL), Chennai Super Kings have suffered a big blow with Suresh Raina pulling out of the entire competition. The franchise announced the news on Saturday while stating that Suresh Raina cited personal reasons behind his decision.
The southpaw, who recently announced his retirement from international cricket, was looking set to play IPL 2020. Along with the Super Kings’ squad, he had travelled to UAE on August 21. He had also been part of a five-day pre-season camp in Chennai along with captain MS Dhoni, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Ambati Rayudu, M Vijay and bowling consultant Laxmipathy Balaji.
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
Missing the left-handed batsman will be a mighty blow for the three-time IPL champions. He is Super Kings’ all-time leading run-getter, aggregating 4527 runs from 164 IPL games for the franchise. Suresh Raina is also the second-highest scorer in IPL history with 5368 runs, only behind Virat Kohli’s tally of 5412.
Replacement for Suresh Raina:
Losing a player of Suresh Raina’s stature can pretty much derail any team’s campaign and replacing him should be a top priority. However, Chennai Super Kings are unlikely to go for a replacement right away. Super Kings’ CEO Kasi Viswanathan has confirmed the same, according to The Times of India.
“It is his personal decision to go back and we will never question that. He has always given his best for CSK and we honour that,” Viswanathan told the news outlet.
Super Kings have also been rocked by several members of their squad including two players testing positive for COVID-19. Consequently, their quarantine period has been extended. Meanwhile, IPL 2020 is scheduled to get underway on September 19 while the final is on November 10.
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