Misfortunes seem to be plaguing the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) franchise as they have been suffering one setback after another in quick succession, leaving their team in a disastrous predicament ahead of the much-awaited 13th season of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Shortly after two players and eleven support staff tested positive for COVID-19, it was announced that their batting mainstay and vice-captain, Suresh Raina, has withdrawn from the tournament and returned to India citing 'personal reasons'.
This, in turn, will affect the CSK training camp as the team has been quarantined for another six days, with all the players required to test negative for the deadly virus twice before resuming training. Barring any further hindrances, this will allow the franchise to recommence their practice only by the middle of next week. Furthermore, the two infected players will have to serve a quarantine period of two weeks before joining the rest of the squad.
As per IPL tradition, the finalists of the previous year will lock horns in the opening game of the next season. Following this precedent, it was expected that this year too, the defending champions, Mumbai Indians, will take on the runner-ups, Chennai Super Kings.
However, the recent developments have contributed to the Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) reportedly deciding to revamp the schedule in order to give the Chennai outfit some extra time to regroup from the cascading impediments that have befallen them.
A BCCI official told InsideSport:
"They will now not be in a position to contest the opening game of the IPL 2020. We will give CSK few more days to come out of this setback."
The IPL 2020 schedule will now be released at a later date
The BCCI has also delayed the announcement of the IPL 2020 schedule in light of the recent developments but insist that there is no immediate threat to the tournament, which is all set to be hosted in the UAE from the 19th of September.
A top BCCI official told Times of India:
“Adequate measures are in place to tackle the situation and there is no immediate threat to the tournament. But the announcement of fixtures has been delayed because of this development.”
Meanwhile, none of the members in the other franchises have tested positive for COVID-19 and have begun their training sessions for the IPL in the various venues allotted to them.Published 29 Aug 2020, 20:37 IST