Suresh Raina is like a “son” to him, but Chennai Super Kings owner N Srinivasan said on Wednesday that the return of the all-rounder this IPL season after an unexpected withdrawal would be decided by team management led by skipper MS Dhoni. Raina had left the CSK camp in Dubai last week amid 13 COVID-19 cases, including the national team’s Deepak Chahar, but there was some controversy over an alleged breach of the biobubble, something the player has categorically denied.
The former BCCI president was initially outraged by Raina’s departure, but later softened his position.
The player also appeared to have spoken to Srinivasan, calling him a father figure and indicating he might return.
“I’ve treated him like one (son). The reason for CSK’s success in IPL over the years is because the franchise has never gotten its nose into cricket business. India Cements has been running cricket since the 1960s. I’ll always stay like that, ” Srinivasan told PTI.
So, does he expect Raina to be back in the UAE and play in the IPL?
“Look, please understand that is not my domain at all (whether Raina returns or not),” said the former ICC and BCCI chief.
“We have a team, we own the franchise, but we don’t have players. The team is ours but players aren’t. I don’t own the players,” he added.
For Srinivasan, the decision about Raina lies with the team management, i.e. skipper Dhoni and CEO KS Viswanathan.
“I’m not the cricket captain. I never told them (team management) who to play, who to auction with, never. We have the greatest captain of all time. So why should I even get involved in cricket matters? Srinivasan said.
CSK has been a three-time champion in the high-profile competition, shifted to the UAE this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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