IPL 2020 | Raina will be missed but CSK will be fine: Srinivasan
Three-time IPL Champions Chennai Super Kings will remain a strong force, despite all the problems the franchise currently finds itself engulfed in, says N Srinivasan, MD, India Cements – owners of CSK.
Srinivasan’s comments given to a website on Sunday, where he likened Suresh Raina to be a ‘prima donna’ created a storm. The former BCCI president agrees he had used the term, but not in a negative way.
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“What I said was taken in a wrong context. Prima donna is a lead singer in an opera. Cricketers are our leaders. It was not directed in any negative way,” he explained. “We respect Suresh Raina. He has done a lot for CSK. We will always stand by him in this period. His absence will create a big hole in any team. He is such a good player. But we cannot argue with the circumstances of his current situation. He has said it is personal, and we respect that.”
Srinivasan ruled out any immediate replacements for Raina. “That’s a decision the team management has to take. But I don’t think they are looking at a replacement now,” he said.
Raina, the tournament’s second highest run scorer of all time with 5368 runs, returned home on Saturday, citing personal reasons. Speculations have been rife whether discomfort in the bio-bubble amid rising Covid -19 positive cases in the camp, or family bereavement, or the other theory of unhappiness over quality of room allotted to him, led to Raina’s move. Raina who is touted as CSK’s ‘Chinna Thala’ to the leader MS Dhoni, is yet to throw light on what led him to overlook the R11 crore IPL contract.
The other worry in the CSK camp is the thirteen personnel, including two cricketers who are currently recovering from Covid-19. The team is yet to complete the quarantine protocols before they can have their first practice session in UAE.
Wanting to put the controversy aside, Srinivasan was upbeat of CSK being able to prove their detractors wrong. “We were called a team of old men, and we won the championship,” he recalls CSK’s win on IPL-return in 2018. “The tournament has not yet started. We will see. Raina will be missed, but CSK will be fine.”
The CSK boss reposed faith in captain MS Dhoni, yet again. “Dhoni is a true leader, and he will lead us in this battle. I have spoken to him, he is very focused,” he said.
Srinivasan also confirmed, senior spinner Harbhajan Singh would be joining the team soon. “IPL is the greatest competition we have. We have to work together with BCCI.”