Chennai: As expected Suresh Raina will reunite with M.S. Dhoni as the management of Chennai Super Kings has decided to retain the left-handed batsman for the two-time champions’ comeback IPL season.
The last date for sending the list of retained players is January 4 and CSK are still mulling over their third choice.
Ravindra Jadeja is the frontrunner, but the management could even go with just two retained players and make use of three Right To Match cards at the auction.
CSK director K George John said: “Raina is not only popular among Super Kings fans, but also a proven match-winner in IPL. Last season, I think he averaged around 40.”
The highest run-getter in the history of IPL with 4,540 runs, Raina is, however, out of India reckoning. He led Gujarat Lions last two seasons when CSK were under suspension.
If CSK decide to go with Jadeja, local star R. Ashwin, who has not played a T20 for almost a year, will go back to the auction pool. Whether CSK would use the ‘Right to Match’ card for Ashwin remains to be seen as the management is reportedly eyeing another local player Washington Sundar.
CSK to set up academy:
Meanwhile, CSK confirmed their plan to launch an academy in the city as part of grassroots development. CSK’s support staff, a couple of stars who represented the franchisee in the past and former TN players are likely to be involved in the project.
Dhoni’s friend-turned-manager Arun Pandey, who was here for the launch of CSK’s inter-school tournament, said the former India captain is excited to wear the CSK colours again.
“It is like a child coming back to see his mother after being taken away for a while. It’s that kind of feeling for Dhoni. CSK have always been close to his heart. Dhoni considers Chennai his home,” said Pandey.
Pandey said Dhoni and India Cements boss N Srinivasan have mutual respect and that’s why their relationship has grown from strength to strength even though not being in regular touch....