Harbhajan Singh 2nd CSK player after Suresh Raina to pull out of IPL 2020
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) suffered another massive blow on Friday as Harbhajan Singh confirmed that he will be missing IPL 2020 due to "personal reasons". Bhajji had not traveled to the United Arab Emirates with the team.
The veteran off-spinner is the second big name to miss the tournament for CSK after vice-captain Suresh Raina, who also withdrew citing 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.
Harbhajan had also skipped the six-day training camp in Chennai which was held from August 15 to 21 at the MA Chidambaram stadium and has now decided to pull out of the 8-team tournament which will begin from September 19 in the UAE.
Interestingly, Bhajji had told in June that he would participate in the IPL only if the authorities assured the safety of everyone associated with the tournament.
Harbhajan also said that "I really want the IPL to happen but only when things are safe not just for me but for everybody associated with the tournament. There are about 200-300 people on the ground whenever a match is played and we need to take care of the safety of everybody present,"
"Even if there is a 1% chance of the threat of spreading Covid-19 from one of us then IPL should be further postponed. It's not an issue even if the IPL doesn't happen this year. Saving lives is the most important."
CSK are already reeling under pressure after 13 members of the franchise, including fast bowler Deepak Chahar and batsman Ruturaj Gaikwad, tested positive for coronavirus last week. The whole squad and all franchise officials in the UAE were then asked to self-isolate themselves for an additional 7 days.
The three-time champions are likely to hit the nets from Friday, subject to clearance of the 2nd round of testing. They are the only team who have not begun training outdoors after the virus hit their camp.
IPL 2020 will be held in Dubai, Sharjah, and Abu Dhabi from September 19 to November 10. The 53-day 8-team tournament was originally scheduled to begin from March 29 but the coronavirus pandemic forced its postponement by over 5 months.