Updated: September 5, 2020 8:38:50 am
Harbhajan Singh has pulled out of the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) citing personal reasons. After Suresh Raina’s departure last week, the 40-year-old has become the second high-profile Chennai Super Kings (CSK) player to pull out of the tournament.
“Dear Friends I will not be playing IPL this year due to personal reasons. These are difficult times and I would expect some privacy as I spend time with my family. @ChennaiIPL CSK management has been extremely supportive and I wish them a great IPL,” Harbhajan posted on Twitter.
I will not be playing IPL this year due to personal reasons.These are difficult times and I would expect some privacy as I spend time with my family. @ChennaiIPL CSK management has been extremely supportive and I wish them a great IPL
Stay safe and Jai Hind
— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) September 4, 2020
CSK are standing by Harbhajan. “Harbhajan Singh informed us he won’t be available due to personal reasons. Team Chennai Super Kings is supportive of his decision and stands by him and his family during these testing times,” CSK chief executive Kasi Viswanathan stated through the franchise’s official Twitter handle.
Harbhajan Singh informed us he won’t be available due to personal reasons. Team Chennai Super Kings is supportive of his decision and stands by him and his family during these testing times.
— Chennai Super Kings (@ChennaiIPL) September 4, 2020
It is learnt that the team management will have a meeting to “reassess the road ahead”, in terms of seeking a replacement. The three-time IPL champions still have Imran Tahir, Ravindra Jadeja, Mitchell Santner, Piyush Chawla and Karn Sharma as their frontline spinners.
Harbhajan joined CSK from Mumbai Indians in 2018 and over the past couple of seasons he accounted for 23 wickets in 24 matches. He, in fact, had a strong season in 2019, taking 16 wickets at an economy rate of a little over 7. Overall, Harbhajan is one of the most successful bowlers in the IPL with 150 scalps, only behind Lasith Malinga (170) and Amit Mishra (157).
Harbhajan, one of India’s finest off-spinners ever with 417 Test wickets, didn’t attend CSK’s pre-departure camp in Chennai and also didn’t travel with the team to Dubai. Several members of the CSK contingent, including two cricketers, had tested coronavirus positive in Dubai ahead of the IPL in the United Arab Emirates. The team then suffered another blow, as Raina decided to return home due to personal reasons.
CSK, however, have started training on Friday and a team official told this paper that they would be “ready” to play the tournament opener on September 19. The BCCI, however, hasn’t put out the IPL schedule yet. Asked about this, the official said: “This is an unprecedented time. We have to be patient.”
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