Chennai Super Kings (CSK) star player Suresh Raina will not be taking part in this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL), which is scheduled to begin on September 19. The announcement was made by the Chief Executive Officer of the team KS Viswanathan on Saturday.
“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,” CSK tweeted on its official handle. The team departed for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on August 21 after a five-day training camp for the team in Chennai. The players, upon reaching the UAE, had to undergo a mandatory six-day quarantine before the practice sessions.
On Friday, CSK announced that at least 12 support staff and one player tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The team, however, did not specify the names of those who had tested positive for the virus. ESPNCricinfo had reported that this has prompted the team to extend their quarantine period and postpone the start of their training session to September 1. IPL’s protocol around COVID-19 pandemic makes it mandatory for all the players and support staff to get tested at the airport followed by three more tests on the first, third and the fifth days of the six-day quarantine period. Teams will be allowed to start practice sessions only after all the three tests return negative for all the members of the team. BCCI had also made it compulsory for all Indian players and support staff to test negative for COVID-19 at least five times before they begin their training in the UAE. During the tournament, the players will be tested once in every five days.
Raina’s exit comes as a shock to CSK’s fans who were expecting their ‘Chinna Thala’ (deputy leader) to shine in this edition of the IPL. He had recently announced his retirement from international cricket recently. Team India’s former skipper MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina announced their retirement from international cricket on the same day, shocking lakhs of fans across the world.