Suresh Raina has clarified that the reason he returned from UAE was to be with his family in India. The left-handed batsman decided to depart from the bubble for IPL due to ‘personal reasons’ and will miss the entire tournament. The development came in the aftermath of an incident involving his family in Pathankot, Punjab where his uncle and cousin passed away.
But there were rumours of there being a rift between the veteran and Chennai Super Kings team management. Some other reports claimed he was not particularly comfortable within the bubble.
“It was a personal decision and I had to come back for my family. There was something that needed to be addressed immediately on the home front. CSK is my family too and Mahi bhai (MS Dhoni) is very important to me and this was a tough decision. There is no issue between CSK and me. Nobody will just turn their back on Rs 12.5 crore and walk away without a solid reason,” he said in an interview to Cricbuzz.
“I have a young family back home and I was concerned about the fact that if something happened to me, unka kya hoga? (what will happen to them). My family is most important to me and I am really concerned about them during these times. I haven’t seen my kids for more than 20 days, even after coming back, since I am in quarantine.”
CSK owner N Srinivasan said Raina will rue the decision to go back home. The former BCCI president said in an interview, “The season has not begun yet and Raina will certainly realise 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 into your head,” Srinivasan added.
Reacting to Srinivasan’s comments, Raina said, “He is like a father figure to me and he’s always stood by me and is close to my heart. He treats me like his younger son and I am sure a lot of what he said was taken out of context. Ek baap apne bacche ko daant sakta hai (A father can scold his son). He didn’t know the real reasons for me leaving when he gave those comments. Now he’s been informed about them and he even sent me a message thereafter. We’ve chatted about it and both CSK and I just want to get over with it.”
On Tuesday, Raina appealed to the Punjab Police and Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh for a thorough probe into the Pathankot incident.
CSK, meanwhile, are slated to hit the practice nets soon after the entire squad, barring Deepak Chahar and Ruturaj Gaikwad, tested negative for COVID-19.
“All others, apart from the 13, have tested negative for COVID-19. They will have to undergo another test on Thursday, 3 September. We are likely to start training on Friday, 4 September,” team CEO KS Viswanathan said.
“Deepak and Ruturaj will complete their 14-day quarantine and then join training after two negative tests as per protocol,” he added.