Suresh Raina Retained By CSK In IPL 2021
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Suresh Raina Retained By CSK In IPL 2021

Suresh Raina, Harbhajan Singh
Suresh Raina, Harbhajan Singh

Suresh Raina had left the CSK bubble in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) before the start of IPL 2020 that moved out of India to UAE because of the coronavirus induced pandemic. The nature of his departure had irked the franchise hierarchy, although CSK chief N Srinivasan chose to be considerate.

His shock departure from the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in Dubai notwithstanding, the franchise will retain Suresh Raina for the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL).

Suresh Raina
Suresh Raina. Image Credit: BCCI.

Suresh Raina Has Done So Much For CSK And Will Always Stand By Him: N Srinivasan

A franchise official confirmed that the left-handed southpaw would be part of the squad under MS Dhoni’s captaincy. Suresh Raina who retired alongside MS Dhoni at 33 years of age from international cricket on 15th August 2020 was supposed to play IPL 2020 before he withdrew citing personal reasons.

He and veteran spinner Harbhajan Singh’s withdrawal for personal reasons dealt a major blow to CSK. The team was placed last-8th at one stage before successive wins in last 3 matches saw them placed at 7th spot.

“Yes, we will retain Raina and Dhoni will be the captain. Apart from Harbhajan Singh, we might release a few more players,” the CSK official told The Indian Express.

The list of retained players for the next IPL will be announced in the evening today (Wednesday) 20th January.

IPL 2020: Suresh Raina's Comeback Decision Lies In Hand Of MS Dhoni and Team Management: CSK Owner N Srinivasan
N Srinivasan. Image Credit: Getty Images.

“As far as Suresh Raina is concerned, he is a great player who has done so much for CSK. We have a lot of respect for him. [We have] a lot of regard and affection for all that he has done. CSK will always stand by him,” Srinivasan told this paper last year.

On his decision to withdraw his name for the cash-rich IPL, Suresh Raina stated that he needed adequate time with his loved ones. He cherished the moments with his family. Moreover, the Uttar Pradesh-born cricketer talked about the gruesome incident where few of his relatives lost their lives in Pathankot during a robbery attempt which was another reason for his withdrawal.

Harbhajan Singh Has Parted Ways With CSK

Suresh Raina, 34, is CSK’s most successful batsman with 4,527 runs from 164 matches for the franchise. He has retired from international cricket along with CSK skipper MS Dhoni, but the three-time IPL champions still consider him an important cog in their wheel. Without him, CSK failed to qualify for Playoffs last term, finishing seventh.

Meanwhile, veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has parted ways with CSK. “As my contract comes to an end with @ChennaiIPL, playing for this team was a great experience..beautiful memories made &some great friends which I will remember fondly for years to come..Thank you @ChennaiIPL, management, staff and fans for a wonderful 2years.. All the best…” he tweeted today.

Harbhajan Singh
Harbhajan Singh (Credits: Twitter)

Harbhajan Singh on Wednesday announced the end of his contract with Indian Premier League team Chennai Super Kings (CSK). The right-arm off-spinner tweeted to thank CSK for a “wonderful 2 years”. The deadline for player retentions for IPL 2021 is January 21.

He represented Mumbai Indians from 2008 to 2017 and Chennai Super Kings in 2018 and 2019. In the duo’s absence, Chennai Super Kings finished 7th in the points table as they failed to qualify for playoffs for the first time in IPL history.