After the Chennai Super Kings CEO confirmed the news of Suresh Raina pulling out of the IPL 2020 citing “personal reasons”, it has now emerged that a second player in the team has tested positive for COVID-19.
The player in question is a right-handed top-order batsman, who has been a part of India A teams in recent past and is a prolific performer in Ranji Trophy. On Friday, a T20 specialist pacer had tested positive along with 12 members of the contingent in Dubai.
While it is expected that Raina will be issuing a statement later in the day, sources close to the franchise said that one of the biggest draws in IPL desperately needs some downtime to be with his young family at the moment.
CSK’s quarantine period in Dubai has already been extended till September 1.
“Suresh’s absence will be a big blow for the CSK and also, he is one of the biggest draws in IPL. But in these times, if any player doesn’t feel 100 per cent and has some other pressing priorities, any team respects that and CSK is no different,” a senior IPL official privy to development in CSK camp told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
While it is understood that the tournament is not under threat as of now but one franchise becoming a “COVID-19 hotspot” is slowly becoming an issue for other teams as well as the BCCI.
“If there are 13 cases from only one franchise then it is an issue for sure for everyone. The biggest aspect will be whether foreign cricketers will now start being panicky as they are more touchy about these issues,” an official said.
“We need to keep a tab on players’ mental health,” he added.