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Chennai Super Kings owner and former BCCI President N Srinivasan revealed that Raina’s exit from the IPL 2020 season will not affect his team in any way. He also went on to say “he will realize how much money he is going to lose” It is said that the left-handed batsman returned to India soon after reports of several CSK staff members and one player tested positive for COVID-19.

During an interview with Outlook, N Srinivasan said, “The season has not begun yet and Raina will certainly realize what he is missing and certainly all the money he is going to lose. My thinking is that if you are reluctant or not happy, go back. I don’t force anyone to do anything, sometimes success gets in your head,”

Suresh Raina is Chennai Super Kings’ top-scorer in the tournament with 4,527 and has featured in all the seasons of the IPL. He is also the second-highest scorer in the IPL with 5,368 runs, second only to the Indian skipper Virat Kohli who has 5,412 runs. 

N Srinivasan and Suresh Raina  Raina
N Srinivasan and Suresh Raina (Picture credits - The Cricket Times)

Raina returned to India on 29 August from UAE, on account of some ‘personal reasons.’ The news was confirmed by CSK’s official twitter account and the tweet said that the franchise is ‘with him.’ The actual reasons were not mentioned by the team and the cricketer is yet to come clear about it.

Speculations suggest that Raina’s return to India had to do with his uncle’s murder in Pathankot in Punjab. Srinivasan, however, has a different version of the story that he mentioned. Raina was retained by CSK for a whooping Rs 11 crore and is also the team’s vice-captain since the very beginning of the competition in 2008, except for 2016 and 17 when the team was suspended due to the spot-fixing scandal.

Srinivasan believes that the team are all good to go despite the vice-captain missing. He said, “He is an outstanding batsman and will get a chance now. Ruturaj can become the star of the show, who knows,” Srinivasan said while talking about Ruturaj Gaikwad, Raina’s possible replacement for this season.

Shane Watson was one of the few players from the CSK squad who openly supported Raina with his decision and said, “You’ve always been the heartbeat of the team” and the team will miss you.

Picture credits - MbS News