Suresh Raina opted out of IPL 2020 citing personal reasons on Saturday but according to a report in the Outlook, the veteran batsman left the Chennai Super Kings squad owing to a ‘rift’ between him and skipper MS Dhoni.
CSK owner N Srinivasan told Outlook that Raina’s sudden call to opt out shocked everyone in their team a bit but skipper Dhoni handled the situation pretty well.
The ‘personal reason’ that was cited behind Raina’s exit from IPL 2020 was due his uncle’s murder by robbers on August 20 in a village in Pathankot. However, it is believed that is not the actual reason.
According to the report, Raina wasn’t particularly happy with the room he was provided upon landing in UAE on August 21. He was finding it hard to deal with the strict protocols of the bio-bubble and thus wanted a similar room as Dhoni.
Raina’s room supposedly didn’t have any balconies and that became a big issue for him. Dhoni couldn’t make him understand either and with two of the CSK players — Ruturaj Gaikwad and Deepak Chahar — testing positive for COVID-19, Raina’s fears only grew further.
“Cricketers are like prima donnas … like the temperamental actors of the olden days. Chennai Super Kings have always been like a family and all seniors players have learnt to co-exist,” said Srinivasan.
“My thinking is that if you are reluctant or not happy, go back. I don’t force anyone to do anything … sometimes success gets into your head,” he added.
But Srinivasan has assured that Dhoni isn’t worried at all and the mental toughness of the skipper will only instill courage in his teammates.
“I spoke to MS (Dhoni) and he has assured me that even if the numbers go up, there was nothing to worry. He spoke to the players through a zoom call and asked them to remain safe. You really don’t know who is a passive carrier,” Srinivasan said.
“I have got a solid captain. Dhoni is simply unfazed by anything. That is giving everyone in the team a lot of confidence.”
Srinivasan also went on to mention that Raina’s exit is a good opportunity for someone like Ruturaj Gaikwad to prove his mettle.
“He is an outstanding batsman and will get a chance now. Ruturaj can become the star of the show, who knows?” the CSK chief said.
But he also believes that Raina will realize soon what he is missing, “The season has not begun yet and Raina will certainly realise what he is missing and certainly all the money (a salary of 11 crores per season) he is going to lose.”
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