A day after news that one India international was among at least ten people in the Chennai Super Kings camp to test positive for Covid-19, it has emerged that a second player in the team has tested positive too, even as Suresh Raina returned home because of “personal reasons”.
The player in question is a right-hand top-order batsman, who has been a part of India A teams in the recent past and is a prolific performer in the Indian domestic circuit.
CSK’s quarantine period in Dubai has already been extended till September 1.
While it is expected that Raina would be issuing a statement later in the day, sources close to the franchise said that he desperately needed some downtime to be with his young family at the moment. The 33-year-old had retired from international cricket earlier this month.
“Suresh’s absence will be a big blow for the CSK and also, he is one of the biggest draws in IPL. But in these times, if any player doesn’t feel 100% and has some other pressing priorities, any team respects that and CSK is no different,” a senior IPL official privy to development in CSK camp told PTI on condition of anonymity.
It couldn’t be officially confirmed, but speculation was that a family tragedy coupled by spike in Covid-19 cases in the team might have disturbed Raina.
While it is understood that the tournament is not under threat as of now, one franchise becoming a “Covid-19 hotspot” is slowly becoming an issue for other teams as well as the BCCI.
“If there are 13 cases from only one franchise then it is an issue for sure for everyone. The biggest aspect will be whether foreign cricketers will now start being panicky as they are more touchy about these issues,” an official said. “We need to keep a tab on players’ mental health.