September 4, 2020
The bowler follows Suresh Raina in returning from the IPL camp in UAE, increasing more worries toward the integrity of this season’s tournament.

Legendary Indian off-spin bowler Harbhajan Singh has returned home from CSK’s camp in the UAE ahead of IPL 2020 citing “personal reasons”. He had not left for the camp last week when Suresh Raina returned home explaining “personal reasons” and a “need to be with his family” as the reason for his decision.

The 40-year-old’s departure comes at the back of last week’s debacle in the CSK camp that saw two players and eleven staff members testing positive in a routine round of COVID testing. While the cases reduced to a relatively lower two after a follow-up round of testing, the whole thing did rush BCCI into hastily taking a defensive stance, saying there was no need to worry and things were under control.

CSK begins training in the UAE ahead of the beginning of IPL 2020, but the exits of household names like Raina and Bhajji have made things murky.

It’s glaringly obvious that financial clout is one of the main reasons – if not the main reason – that the IPL is being held this year at all. Flagship sporting events have resumed all around the world despite substantial criticism. Earlier this year, USA’s “MLS is Back” tournament also faced similar controversy when they decided to conduct a mini tournament in a “bubble” in one the worst COVID affected areas in the world, only for things to get worse when big name players and even whole teams started to pull out of the tournament. While they did manage to finish the competition, the whole fiasco did leave them in a darker light.

Hopefully, things wouldn’t get much worse for Chennai Super Kings and other teams as IPL draws near for a thirteenth season, with some much-missed quality entertainment cricket.

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