Suresh Raina, Indian Premier League’s (IPL) and Chennai Super Kings (CSK’s) star cricketer left IPL 2020 as he got ‘very worried about his family’, due to the Covid-19 situation in CSK camp, according to a close family friend of the cricketer.
In an interview to Gulf News, Ajay Sethi, chairman of the Channel 2 Group which holds broadcast rights of major cricketing events in the region and a family friend of the Rainas disclosed, ‘‘Suresh (Raina) called me back after repeated messages from me during the day. He decided to leave the CSK camp suddenly as he was getting concerned about his wife Priyanka and their two young children, four-year-old daughter Gracia and four-month old son Rio in view of the pandemic situation.
‘‘After Covid cases in CSK, situation got too much for him to handle. Raina told me that he started missing the family badly, especially the children, from the time he landed in Dubai. Since the CSK team management decided against players traveling with their families in the initial stages of the IPL, they could not accompany him either and even Rio’s passport was not ready,’’ said Sethi.
The CSK camp player InsideSport spoke to on Saturday also had told us that some of the team players are in complete state of shock due to Covid-19 situation in the team. Without revealing Suresh Raina’s identity, played had told InsideSport that players are very scared and in panic mode.
“We are in a complete state of shock and very scared. We took every possible precaution and followed the BCCI guidelines to hilt, still virus has stuck the team. Some are really panicking”, said the CSK squad member.
IPL 2020 : MS Dhoni and other members tried ‘calming’ Raina but he decided to return
According to a report by TOI, Raina after hearing the news of Covid-19 situation in the team frantically started calling everyone including his good friend and team leader MS Dhoni. Everyone in the team tried reasoning out with him but he was totally gripped by fear.
“On Friday night, in fact, there was a huge ruckus. He tried calling all his teammates, coach Stephen Fleming, skipper MS Dhoni again and again to share his concerns. MS, in fact, also tried explaining things to him but nothing worked. He was badly psyched up and worried. Eventually, everybody else realised there was no point holding him (back) from travelling back because he was totally gripped by fear,” those in the know told TOI.
Sources said it became a highly volatile conversation when Raina started sharing his thoughts on how unsafe he had begun to feel inside the bubble. “He just couldn’t take it anymore and refused to be calmed down,” sources say.
According to Sethi, Raina said it was a ‘‘purely personal decision’’ and he would be speaking to the media once his quarantine period in India is over. ‘‘He is now staying with his parents in Ghaziabad in UP in self-isolation because of the travel, while his family stays in Vasant Vihar in New Delhi,’’