By Shamik Chakrabarty
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). A franchise official confirmed that the left-hander would be part of the squad under MS Dhoni’s captaincy.
“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 list of retained players for the next IPL will be announced in the evening today (Wednesday).
Raina had left the CSK bubble in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) before the start of the last year’s IPL that moved out of India because of the pandemic .The nature of his departure had irked the franchise hierarchy, although CSK chief N Srinivasan chose to be considerate.
“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.
Raina, 34, is CSK’s most successful batsman with 4,527 runs from 164 matches for the franchise. He has retired from international cricket, but the three-time IPL champions still consider him an important cog in their wheel. Without Raina, 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.( Indiac Express )