CSK owner N Srinivasan has asserted that he treats Suresh Raina, who he criticized a few days ago, like his own son. However, Srinivasan added Raina featuring in the 13th edition of the IPL will be subject to captain MS Dhoni's decision as the franchise never interferes in the cricketing matters.
All hell broke loose when CSK star batsman Suresh Raina opted out of the 2020 IPL after reaching UAE with the team due to personal reasons. When CSK owner and former ICC and BCCI president, Srinivasan, went public with his disapproval over Suresh Raina's decision to withdraw his name, the matter became even more glaring to the eyes of the public. After that, there was clarification from Srinivasan that his statement was taken out of context. Raina then went public about the information of the sad demise of his relatives, asking for justice for his loved ones.
After that, the former Indian batsman revealed that Srinivasan is like a father figure to him, besides stating that he might be back in CSK colours this season. Now, the CSK owner has said that he treats Suresh Raina like a son, but asserted that whether Raina returns to the CSK side is not something which is in his own hands. The 75-year-old stated that he does not interfere in ‘cricketing matters’.
"I have treated him like one (son). The reason for CSK's success in the IPL over the years is because of the fact that the franchise never poked its nose into cricketing matters. India Cements is running cricket since '60s. I will always remain like that," Srinivasan told PTI.
"Look, please understand, that that's not my domain (whether Raina will come back or not) at all. We own a team, we own the franchise but we do not own players. Team is ours but the players are not. I don't own the players. .
"I am not the cricket captain. I have never told them (team management) whom to play, whom to take in the auction, never. We have the greatest captain of all times. So, why shall I even interfere in cricketing matters?" Srinivasan said.
It will now be interesting to see what happens next. Given how crucial Suresh Raina is to Chennai's batting and how great a track record he has in IPL, it will be difficult to overlook him, if he indeed makes himself available for the IPL, which will be played between September 19 and November 10 in the UAE across three venues.