Even before the start of this year’s Indian Premier League, Chennai Super Kings have suffered twin blows with their senior players Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh pulling out of the competition. Both the players have cited personal reasons for their surprising decisions.
While Harbhajan Singh did not attend the pre-season camp and did not travel to UAE either, Suresh Raina was looking set to play IPL 2020 after attending the camp and traveling to UAE with the team. But he surprisingly decided against playing in the upcoming tournament.
Their absence will be a big blow for CSK. Suresh Raina is the all-time leading run-scorer for the franchise and has been an integral part since the inaugural season in 2008. On the other hand, Harbhajan Singh is the third highest wicket-taker in the history of the IPL.
CSK are yet to announce the replacements for either Suresh Raina or Harbhajan. Well, former India wicket-keeper batsman Deep Dasgupta believes that the left-handed batsman might be back in the UAE to join the Yellow Army. He stated that Suresh Raina might miss the first few games because of the quarantine rules before stating that he expects the batsman to be back with the squad.
He also hinted that this is perhaps the reason CSK are not too keen to name a replacement for Suresh Raina.
“I have a feeling that Suresh Raina will be back playing the IPL. He might miss out on the first few games because of the quarantine rules and all but I have a feeling that Suresh will be back,” Dasgupta told ESPNCricinfo. “I won’t be surprised if they don’t pick a replacement for Suresh.”
Last week, Suresh Raina also said that he has not yet ruled out the chances of his return to UAE to play the IPL.
“I’ve been training even while quarantining here. You never know you might see me in the camp there again,” Raina told Cricbuzz.
IPL 2020 is scheduled to start on September 19 and finish on November 10. The BCCI, however, is yet to announce the full schedule.