The off-spinner's withdrawal is the latest in a long series of misfortunes for CSK. Over 10 members of the CSK contingent in the UAE, including their lead pacer Deepak Chahar and young Indian batsman Ruturaj Gaikwad, tested positive for COVID-19.
Following the positive test results, vice-captain Suresh Raina flew back to India citing personal reasons, and later stated that he is worried about the welfare of his family. The southpaw has hinted at a return to the CSK camp for IPL 2020, although this does seem highly unlikely.
Twitter had mixed reactions to Harbhajan's announcement, although his decision was expected by many after he didn't fly to the UAE with the rest of the side. With CSK's only off-spinner gone, they are left with a massive deficiency in their bowling attack despite the wealth of spin options at their disposal.
Some fans were critical of Bhajji's decision to pull out, while others expressed their support for him and his family in these tough times. CSK CEO Kasi Viswanathan was one of the first to release a statement, and announced that the team management will stand by Harbhajan.
CSK done with quarantine period ahead of IPL 2020
Due to their positive tests, CSK were ordered to extend their quarantine period by one week, and they were finally cleared to interact with each other today.
Captain MS Dhoni was seen sharing a laugh with Australian opener Shane Watson, while the likes of Murali Vijay and coaches Mike Hussey, L Balaji and Stephen Fleming were involved in a discussion.
CSK are expected to return to training for IPL 2020 soon, but they will have far less time to prepare for the tournament. The 3-time champions are yet to announced their replacements for Raina and Harbhajan for IPL 2020.
Published 04 Sep 2020, 18:55 IST