In a sign of big relief to the Chennai Super Kings squad amidst their off-field worries, the whole squad was tested negative for COVID-19 on Thursday, except the two players (amongst the reported 13 members of the CSK squad), who were found positive in an earlier testing. However, the outbreak within the southern squad meant that they were held back from organising practice sessions and only were able to do so from today, i.e Friday, far behind other squads.
One of the stalwarts of the southern giants and even the IPL, Suresh Raina, had to withdraw from the squad for personal reasons, which were later confirmed to be an attack on his relatives from Pathankot, Punjab. His uncle and one of the cousins unfortunately succumbed to their injuries in the outlay of this brutal attack. The Chief Minister of Punjab, Capt. Amarinder Singh assured Raina that justice would be provided to him and his family.
In more sad news for the CSKians, Harbhajan Singh has today officially taken it to twitter to announce his non-participation in this year’s IPL season, the apparent reason for this measure, as per him is, “These are difficult times and I would expect some privacy as I spend time with my family.”
However, there are also some good news as the South African cricketers, Faf du Plessis and Lungisani Ngidi joined the squad in the UAE, a couple of days ago and have taken part in the training sessions which began from today.
With the IPL starting from the 19th of September, and the league opener being rumoured to be between the two giants of the IPL, Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings, the southern powerhouse seem to be at an disadvantage but nevertheless, they’re probably the only side which maybe, is able to recover from such a setback, afterall no one has forgotten their dream run of the 2018 IPL season.
The evening matches will start at 19:30 IST and the ten afternoon matches scheduled will start at 15:30 IST, all of which will be broadcasted in the Star Sports Network and Hotstar. The three venues of this season will be the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai; Sarjah Cricket Stadium, Sarjah and Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi.