Chennai Super Kings star player Suresh Raina on Saturday pulled out of this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL), returning to India from the UAE due to some personal reasons. Raina’s unavailability is a major blow to the three-time champions whose preparations have already taken a hit after it emerged that two players in the team had tested positive for COVID-19. Reacting to Raina’s unavailability, CSK all-rounder Shane Watson posted a video on Instagram, where he wished the best to the former Indian player and said that he would be missed.
“Thinking of you @sureshraina3 – Take care mate. This is an ever changing world that we live in right now and we have to do all that we can to stay safe and ensure that the @iplt20 goes ahead for another season,” Watson wrote on Instagram.
“I woke up this morning to a really sad news that Suresh Raina is heading back to India for personal reasons. My heart goes out to you Suresh, I hope you are going okay mate. You are gonna be surely missed at CSK,” Watson said in the video.
Raina is the most capped player in the history of the IPL with 193 appearances, followed by MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma who have played 190 and 188 matches, respectively.
In his video message, the former Australia all-rounder described Raina as the “heart of the team” and added that the entire CSK camp is definitely going to miss him.
“You have been here since the start. You are the heart of the team and you are also gonna be missed by IPL tournament as well. You are such a star of the IPL but most important is your well-being and I hope you are gonna be okay,” he added.
Apart from Raina’s unavailability, the MS Dhoni-led side suffered yet another blow as one more player from their camp tested positive for the coronavirus on Saturday.
The BCCI, in its press release, also confirmed that a total of 13 members have tested positive, including two players.
It also mentioned that all the affected personnel are asymptomatic and have been isolated from other team members are being constantly monitored by the IPL medical team.
The 13th season of the IPL has been shifted out of the country due to the rising coronavirus cases in the country and will be held in the United Arab Emirates from September 19 to November 10.
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