Veteran spinner Harbhajan Singh on Friday became the second Chennai Super Kings player to pull out of the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Before him, senior batsman Suresh Raina had also pulled out of the tournament citing personal reasons.
Unlike Raina, Harbhajan Singh had not attended the pre-season camp in Chennai last week and had not accompanied the team to UAE either. On Friday, he took to Twitter to announce his withdrawal and stated that he wanted to stay with his family in this ‘difficult’. The four-time IPL winner also said that the CSK team-management have been very supportive towards his decision.
“I will not be playing IPL this year due to personal reasons. These are difficult times and I would expect some privacy as I spend time with my family. CSK management has been extremely supportive and I wish them a great IPL Stay safe and Jai Hind,” Harbhajan Singh tweeted.
“When I told the CSK management about my decision, they were very supportive and I can’t thank them enough for that,” the off-spinner said.
The reason behind the withdrawal:
Soon after the news of Harbhajan Singh’s withdrawal came out, speculation started as many stated that COVID-19 was the reason behind the player’s decision. Last week, 13 members including two players from the CSK camp had tested positive for the dreaded virus.
However, a friend of Harbhajan clarified that it was purely personal and the situation in Dubai had no influence in the off-spinner’s decision to opt out of IPL. He said that it would be “absurd” to attribute the decision to 13 Covid-19 cases in CSK camp.
“It wasn’t about the Covid cases in the Chennai camp. But if you have a wife and toddler staying in India for three months, your mind will be diverted and you can’t fully focus on the game. Then it doesn’t matter whether you get two crore or 20 crore. Money is last on your mind,” a friend of the player told PTI.
Missing Harbhajan Singh will definitely be a big blow for the CSK especially in the spin-friendly conditions of UAE. The right-arm spinner is the third-highest wicket-taker in the history of IPL with 150 scalps and has been playing for CSK from the last two seasons.