IPL 2020: ‘Dhoni, CSK CEO to decide on Raina’s return’

If Suresh Raina will have to return to the UAE any time during the Indian Premier League 2020, the decision to allow him will rest with skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Chennai Super Kings Chief Executive Kasi Vishwanathan.

The team ownership will have “no say” on allowing or disallowing Raina back into the squad. The CSK vice-captain had left the team in Dubai and returned home last week after 13 members in the contingent had tested positive for COVID-19.

Raina has confessed that he got scared and concerned for his family after seeing the novel coronavirus outbreak in the CSK camp. The southpaw has subsequently also hinted that he might return to the UAE to join the IPL 2020 at some point in time.

CSK owner N Srinivasan has clarified that the all-rounder’s return to the squad for the upcoming IPL would be decided by skipper Dhoni and the team management even as he confessed that “Raina is like a son to him”.

“I have treated him like one (son). The reason for CSK’s success in IPL over the years is because of the fact that the franchise never poked its nose into cricketing matters. India Cements is running cricket since the ’60s. I will always remain like that,” Srinivasan had told national news agency PTI.

Srinivasan, however, diplomatically diverted the question on the possibility of Raina’s return to the squad. “Look, please understand, that that’s not my domain (whether Raina will come back or not) at all,” the former ICC and BCCI chief said. “We own a team, we own the franchise but we do not own players. The team is ours but the players are not. I don’t own the players.

“I am not the cricket captain. I have never told them (team management) whom to play, whom to take in the auction, never. We have the greatest captain of all time. So, why shall I even interfere in cricketing matters?”.

The three-time champions as per the earlier schedule were to play the IPL 2020 opener against defending champions Mumbai Indians. The BCCI is, however, yet to announce a revised schedule for the league in the UAE. It is expected that following the COVID-19 positive cases, which have hampered CSK’s preparations, the Yellow Lions might get their first game of the season a little later.

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