Following their worst-ever season in the history of the Indian Premier League (IPL) last year, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) look set to make some big calls ahead of IPL 2021 auction. The franchise is likely to offload some seniors and despite it being a mini-auction, the coaches could revamp the squad.
While the franchise is confirmed to have the services of their captain MS Dhoni, they could release Suresh Raina, Dhoni’s deputy at the Yellow Army. Raina had flown to UAE for IPL 2020 but returned to India after 13 positive Covid-19 cases in the camp.
Had he played IPL 2020, Raina would have been automatic retention but now there are doubts over his future with CSK. As per a report, CSK is not very sure about retaining their highest run-scorer. Speaking to media, a source said that Raina’s price of Rs 11 crore may pinch the franchise.
Raina was CSK’s second-choice retention, which saw him earn Rs 11 crore. As per IPL 2018 mega-auction rules, the first-choice retention player earned Rs 15 crore. The second and third-choice retention players have a salary of Rs 11 crore and Rs 7 crore.
Dhoni has been earning Rs 15 crore every year. Raina has a salary of Rs 11 crore while Ravindra Jadeja earns Rs 7 crore.
“CSK has to take a big call on Raina. No doubt he has contributed a lot to the CSK’s success in past. As the team is revamping itself to pay or block 11Cr from 85 Cr total pay-purse is something which may pinch the yellow army. That is the reason they are deliberating hard on the same” the source said.
Raina’s performance in the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy could play a big part in CSK’s decision making. Back on the field after more than 600 days, Raina has struggled in the tournament and has only scored 98 runs in four matches.
Should CSK release him, it will be for the first time since 2008 that he will be back in the auction. He had first joined CSK in 2008 and was retained till 2015.
In 2016 and 2017, Raina led Gujarat Lions before making a comeback for CSK after they completed their two-year ban.