Yet another blow to CSK, Harbhajan also pulls out
NEW DELHI [Maha Media]: 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. Aussie bow
Reports surfaced on Friday claiming that Harbhajan has indeed opted out of participating in the 13th edition to the world's premier T20 cricket league, which has been moved out of India due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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 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.