CSK’s Harbhajan pulls out of IPL, team return to training - GulfToday

CSK’s Harbhajan pulls out of IPL, team return to training

Chennai Super Kings

Chennai Super Kings off-spinner Harbhajan Singh appealed for ‘privacy’ after announcing his decision to skip Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 on Friday. File

Chennai Super Kings off-spinner Harbhajan Singh appealed for “privacy” after announcing his decision to skip Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 on Friday.

Harbhajan is the second CSK player after Suresh Raina to withdraw from the tournament due to personal reasons.

Harbhajan Singh had reportedly informed Chennai Super Kings of his decision to pull out from IPL 2020 owing to personal reasons two weeks ago but CSK had asked him to take some more time and think over his decision.

Doubts about Harbhajan’s participation grew when he didn’t fly with franchise and his team-mates to Dubai, which will be their home for the 53-day T20 extravaganza. Bhajji had also skipper CSK’s six-day training camp in Chennai last month.

“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. @ChennaiIPLCSK management has been extremely supportive and I wish them a great IPL Stay safe and Jai Hind,” Harbhajan said in a tweet.


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“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 CEO KS Viswanathan said in a statement.

CSK’s build-up for the tournament has been hampered by this latest shocker after 13 members of the franchise tested positive for coronavirus and then vice-captain Raina decided to return home after a personal tragedy which took place in his family.Fast bowler Deepak Chahar and batsman Ruturaj Gaikwad were among the 13 who contracted the novel virus and are currently under self-isolation in their hotel rooms. Former Indian batsman Aakash Chopra believes Harbhajan’s decision to pull out of IPL 2020 is a big jolt for CSK.

MS Dhoni’s men will be without their vice-captain and a senior spinner, who is on the third spot of all-time wicket-takers in the IPL.

While Raina’s absence leaves them without an ever-dependable top-order batsman, Harbhajan was the only off-spinner in a team full of leg-spinners and left-arm spinners. Dhoni had used Harbhajan expertly against teams packed with left-handers but with the withdrawal of the off-spinner he has only part-time spinner Kedar Jadhav to turn to.

“Harbhajan’s decision to pull out of the #IPL is a big bolt for #CSK. Once again, like in Raina’s case, we must respect his privacy. If he wants to share the reasons, he would. No speculation please. Meanwhile, #CSK might need a replacement or two now....(sic),” Chopra said in a social media post.

Meanwhile, skipper Dhoni and all other CSK players, except for the COVID-19 afflicted duo of Chahar and Gaikwad started training on Friday evening after clearing a third round of testing for the virus in Dubai. Under lights at the ICC Academy in Dubai, it was business, as usual, for the Dhoni-led side. The skipper led from the front as he was seen batting at the nets, facing the likes of Ravindra Jadeja and Piyush Chawla.

Notably, Dhoni was in good touch, hitting big sixes when the team trained in Chennai during a camp before their departure to the UAE. Dhoni, who retired from international cricket on Aug.15, was comfortably dealing with Jadeja and Chawla.

In a clip shared by CSK on social media, Shane Watson was also looking crisp against leg-spinner Karn Sharma. Pacer Shardul Thakur was also having a roll of his arms at the nets.

Looking forward to being part of a winning IPL team: Agarwal: Kings XI Punjab batsman Mayank Agarwal has said that he is looking forward to being part of a winning team in the 2020 edition of the IPL.  Agarwal is looking forward to overcoming his inconsistencies by putting in a better performance in IPL 2020 for KXIP.

“I’ve been scoring runs at different levels, but the fact remains I haven’t had a breakthrough IPL season yet [in ten years now], so I’m looking forward to correcting that. Also, I’m looking forward to being part of a winning IPL team. I came close in 2017 [with Rising Pune Supergiant],” Mayank Agarwal was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

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