Updated: May 14, 2022 5:06:09 pm
Chennai Super Kings have released Ravindra Jadeja, with the all-rounder heading back home. The franchise CEO Kasi Viswanathan told The Indian Express that this was done purely “on medical advice” after a rib injury ruled Jadeja out of the rest of the IPL. CSK, on eight points, still have three group league matches remaining in the tournament.
On Wednesday, CSK’s Instagram handle reportedly unfollowed Jadeja, sparking rumours of a rift, that all is not well between the player and the franchise. Jadeja relinquished CSK captaincy mid-season after his team made a poor start to the tournament. And although Viswanathan insisted that there was no fallout, some of Jadeja’s team-mates hinted at a discord, as they spoke to this paper on condition of anonymity. According to them, Jadeja wasn’t too pleased with the way the captaincy change was handled. Those in the know say that the all-rounder felt the process lacked transparency.
However the CSK chief executive, speaking to The Indian Express, insisted that Jadeja “firmly remains in the CSK’s scheme of things”.
“Social media, I absolutely do not follow anything. I have no knowledge of what is going on there. What I can tell you is that from the management side, there has been no problem and whatever is there on social media, I’m not aware. Jadeja firmly remains in the CSK’s scheme of things for the future, always,” he said.
As regards to the player’s injury, he said: “Jaddu had an injury during the game against RCB and after that he didn’t play the game against Delhi Capitals. On medical advice, it has been decided that he cannot participate further in this IPL and he is heading back home. He has been released.”
A CSK statement said: “Ravindra Jadeja reported a bruised rib and was unavailable for Chennai Super Kings’ game against Delhi Capitals on Sunday. He was under observation and based on medical advice he has been ruled out for the rest of the IPL season.”
Ahead of the season, CSK anointed Jadeja as MS Dhoni’s successor, first by retaining him for Rs 16 crore, vis-à-vis Dhoni’s Rs 12 crore, and then by making him the captain a couple of days before the start of the tournament. The idea was that the ex-skipper would mother-hen his successor, allowing him to grow into the job. Jadeja has been reverential towards Dhoni and he didn’t hesitate to lean heavily on the former captain for on-field decisions. But CSK’s poor start and Jadeja’s personal form prompted a rethink and the all-rounder handed back the captaincy to Dhoni. A CSK press release had stated: “Ravindra Jadeja has decided to relinquish captaincy to focus and concentrate more on his game and has requested MS Dhoni to lead CSK.
“MS Dhoni has accepted to lead CSK in the larger interest and to allow Jadeja to focus on his game.”
Dhoni publicly spoke about how the pressure of captaincy was affecting Jadeja’s game. “I think Jadeja knew last season he would be captaining this year. For the first two games, I oversaw his work and let him be later. After that, I insisted he would take his own decisions and responsibility for them,” he had said at the post-match presentation, after CSK’s 13-run win over Sunrisers Hyderabad.
— Chennai Super Kings (@ChennaiIPL) April 29, 2022
Dhoni added: “Once you become captain, it means a lot of demands come in. But it affected his mind as the tasks grew. I think captaincy burdened his prep and performances.”
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Jadeja came to this IPL as the world’s best all-rounder, along with Ben Stokes. But a tally of 116 runs and five wickets in 10 matches attested a serious form slump. “See, if you look at it, many of the great Indian players are also going through a tough period in this IPL. Form is temporary, class is permanent. Maybe, the captaincy weighed a bit heavy on him, but we didn’t want to lose Jadeja, the player,” Viswanathan said.
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