Chennai Super Kings owner N Srinivasan said Suresh Raina would rue his decision to pull out of IPL 2020, and maintained that CSK had enough resources to recover from his loss and a series of setbacks over the last week.
Raina, the most-capped player in the tournament, decided to fly back to India from the UAE after reportedly having concerns with the bio-secure bubble set in place for the players for the tournament. His decision to make himself unavailable for the entire season came after the announcement that 13 members of the CSK contingent in UAE had tested positive for Covid-19.
According to a report in Outlook India, Raina had a few reasons to return home, including weariness at being “cooped up” in the strict bio-secure protocols, and also, extraordinarily, dissatisfaction at his hotel room, which “did not have proper balconies”.
Reacting to Raina’s departure, and the ongoing situation in the CSK camp, Srinivasan said that he has been assured by Dhoni that the “there was nothing to worry about”.
“Cricketers are like prima donnas,” Srinivasan was quoted as saying in the report, “like the temperamental actors of the olden days. 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.
Suresh Raina has flown back to India for personal reasons and will miss the #IPL2020, CSK have confirmed.
How big a miss will he be for the franchise? pic.twitter.com/HpjCXOj2tg
— Wisden India (@WisdenIndia) August 29, 2020
“The season has not begun yet, and Raina will certainly realise what he is missing and certainly all the money [reportedly INR 11 crore] he is going to lose.”
Raina has been part of CSK since the inaugural season in 2008, barring two seasons at Gujarat Lions in 2016 and 2017 when the Chennai-based franchise was temporarily suspended from IPL. Currently the tournament’s second-highest run-getter, Raina has missed just one game for the team in 10 seasons, but Srinivasan feels that the batsman’s absence will open a window for youngsters to claim a spot, backing 23-year-old Ruturaj Gaikwad to fill the void.
“He is an outstanding batsman and will get a chance now. Ruturaj can become the star of the show, who knows?” Srinivasan said. “I spoke to MS [Dhoni] and he has assured me that even if the numbers go up, there was nothing to worry. 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. I have got a solid captain. Dhoni is simply unfazed by anything. That is giving everyone in the team a lot of confidence.”