In a major development, three time champions, Chennai Super Kings have retained Suresh Raina for IPL 2021. A franchise official confirmed that the left-hander would be part of the squad under MS Dhoni’s captaincy. “Yes, we will retain Raina and Dhoni will be the captain. Apart from Harbhajan Singh, we might release a few more players a CSK official told Indian Express. Raina had left the CSK bubble in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) before the start of the last year’s IPL that moved out of India because of the pandemic. The nature of his departure had irked the franchise hierarchy, although CSK chief N Srinivasan chose to be considerate. Without Raina, CSK failed to qualify for Playoffs last term, finishing seventh.
As my contract comes to an end with @ChennaiIPL, playing for this team was a great experience..beautiful memories made &some great friends which I will remember fondly for years to come..Thank you @ChennaiIPL, management, staff and fans for a wonderful 2years.. All the best..🙏— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) January 20, 2021
Meanwhile, veteran Chennai Super Kings off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has confirmed his exit from three-time Chennai Super Kings ahead of IPL 2021 auction as his contract with the three-time champions concludes. The out-of-favour India international took to the microblogging site Twitter to share the news with his fans. Notably, Harbhajan did not take part in the 2020 edition of the tournament, citing personal reasons. As per a report in Cricbuzz, Chennai Super Kings are all set to part ways with veteran spinner Piyush Chawala and Tamil Nadu batsman Murali Vijay. While Vijay has been with the CSK squad since 2018, Chawla was roped in at the auction in 2019 and is likely to be let go of after spending only one season with the three-time champions.Chawala was CSK's most expensive buy at Rs 6.75 crore in the player auction in 2019. However, the returns from the spinner were far from impressive as he managed only seven appearances for the side and picked up six wickets. By letting Chawla go, CSK will free up good funds, especially considering they have the lowest remaining balance in the purse at the moment - Rs 15 lakh. The list of retained players for the next IPL will be announced in the evening today (Wednesday).