In yet another blow to Chennai Super Kings (CSK) ahead of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020, Harbhajan Singh has also opted out of the tournament citing “personal reasons”. The veteran off-spinner informed the CSK management about his decision on Friday (September 4).
The development comes days after Suresh Raina, a mainstay of CSK’s batting line-up, withdrew his name from the thirteenth edition of IPL and returned to India. However, Harbhajan Singh had not flown to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
In June, Bhajji hinted during an interview that he would participate in IPL 2020 only if the COVID-19 situation will be under complete control. However, the novel coronavirus struck the CSK camp soon after their arrival in the UAE.
“I really want 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,” Harbhajan Singh had said on India Today’s Salaam Cricket.
Meanwhile, the men in yellow continue to fight the highly contagious disease. In the latest round of tests for the dreaded infection, all the members of the squad, barring the 13 who were found positive last week, tested negative. Therefore, CSK is now set to kickstart the training sessions.
“The training starts today. All others, apart from the 13, tested negative for the third time. Those who tested positive will only be tested after the isolation period (two weeks) is over,” CSK CEO KS Viswanathan told PTI.
Out of the 13 CSK members who had tested positive for COVID-19, two are players while rest are the support staff personnel.