Suresh Raina's absence won't impact CSK: N Srinivasan
Chennai Super Kings owner N Srinivasan believes Suresh Raina's absence would not impact the preparations ahead of the IPL season. However, he went on to say that Raina would "certainly realize" what he will be missing, including the "money he is going to lose" by skipping the IPL. Notably, Raina returned to India on Friday after announcing his decision to miss the 2020 IPL.
'Sometimes success gets into your head'
Here is what Srinivasan said on the issue. "The season has not begun yet and Raina will certainly realise what he is missing and certainly all the money he is going to lose," said Srinivasan. "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."
'CSK have always been a family', says Srinivasan
"Cricketers are like prima donnas ...like the temperamental actors of the olden days. Chennai Super Kings have always been like a family and all seniors players have learned to co-exist," added Srinivasan, as quoted by Outlook.
Why did Raina opt out of the IPL?
Although the reason behind Raina leaving the camp is unknown, reports suggest that he had concerns about the team's bio-secure bubble in the UAE. However, the CSK CEO Kasi Viswanathan earlier stated that Raina had left due to "personal reasons" without elaborating further. Also, speculations of a rift between Raina and the team management pertaining to his hotel room are also doing the rounds.
Raina has been an integral member of CSK
Top-order batsman Suresh Raina has bolstered the core of CSK over the years, having emerged as the franchise's highest run-getter. He has helped the team reach multiple finals and win the title thrice (2010, 2011 and 2018). At the mega auction (2018), Raina was retained by the franchise for Rs. 11 crore alongside MS Dhoni (Rs. 15 crore) and Ravindra Jadeja (Rs. 7 crore).
A streak of 134 consecutive matches for a team
Suresh Raina has represented CSK in 134 consecutive matches (2008-2018), most by a player for a single team in the IPL history. Raina, who is already IPL's most-capped player (193), could have become the first cricketer to play 200 games, this season.
CSK will miss the services of Raina
The Chennai Super Kings will certainly miss the services of Raina in the impending season. Meanwhile, his exit will also present an opportunity to young players, who could shine forth. Srinivasan banked on right-handed batsman 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?" he stated.
Srinivasan confident about CSK's prospects
So far, at least 13 members of the CSK unit have tested positive since landing in the UAE. However, Srinivasan asserted that he had spoken to Dhoni, who reportedly assured him things will be under control. "I spoke to MS and he has assured me that even if the numbers go up, there was nothing to worry," Srinivasan concluded.