IPL 2020: After Suresh Raina, Harbhajan Singh Becomes 2nd High-profile Player To Pull Out
Three-time champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) suffered yet another blow ahead of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 as veteran spinner Harbhajan Singh has reportedly pulled out of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) event, citing personal reasons.
The Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led outfit was already dealing with a double whammy following the coronavirus infection of 12 members, including two players, and the exit of batting mainstay, Suresh Raina.
“I have informed the CSK management about my decision to pull out of this year’s IPL. I have decided to take a break due to personal reasons in these difficult times. I expect that everyone would respect my need for privacy,” Harbhajan said.
Harbhajan is one of the most successful bowlers in the history of IPL with 150 wickets.
The 13th edition to the world’s premier T20 cricket league, which has been moved out of India due to the COVID-19 pandemic.], starts on September 19.
There was speculation that the 40-year-old might pull out of the tournament due to personal reasons. But the CSK were playing safe, denying such a development. In fact, franchise CEO KS Viswanathan had declined to comment on the issue.
For the record, CSK has three front-line spinners apart from Harbhajan — Imran Tahir, Mitchell Santner and Piyush Chawla.
The three-time IPL champions had arrived in the UAE along with defending champions Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore on August 21.
Meanwhile, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and all other players, except for the COVID-19 afflicted duo of Deepak Chahar and Ruturaj Gaikwad, will start training today evening after clearing a third round of testing for the virus in Dubai.
“The training starts from today. All others, apart from the 13, tested negative for the third time. Those who tested positive will only be tested after the isolation period (two weeks) is over,” Viswanathan said.
It means that CSK are in line to play the opener, against Mumbai Indians on September 19.
Traditionally, the finalists from the previous edition take on each other in the first match.
All other teams, except CSK, have started training.
The fixtures are likely to announce today, according to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly.