IPL 2020: 'Comments on Suresh Raina Taken Out of Context, CSK Always Stands By Him,' Says N Srinivasan

N Srinivasan, chief of India Cements that owns the Chennai Super Kings franchise, clarified that his comments on Suresh Raina were taken out of context while stressing the franchise will firmly stand by the player in tough times.

IPL 2020: 'Comments on Suresh Raina Taken Out of Context, CSK Always Stands By Him,' Says N Srinivasan

N Srinivasan, chief of India Cements that owns the Chennai Super Kings franchise, clarified that his comments on Suresh Raina were taken out of context while stressing the franchise will firmly stand by the player in tough times.

"The franchise will always stand by him and he has our complete support during these times of distress," Srinivasan told Times of India.

"Raina's 'contribution to the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) franchise is second to none and it is unfortunate that people are trying to put two and two together to drive a wedge. His contribution to the CSK franchise has been phenomenal through the years.

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"It is important to understand what Suresh is going through right now and give him space."

On Sunday, Outlook quoted Srinivasan as saying: "Cricketers are like prima donnas ... like the temperamental actors of the olden days. Chennai Super Kings have always been like a family and all seniors players have learnt to co-exist.

"My thinking is that if you are reluctant or not happy, go back. I don't force anyone to do anything ... sometimes success gets into your head.

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"I spoke to MS (Dhoni) and he has assured me that even if the numbers go up, there was nothing to worry. He spoke to the players through a zoom call and asked them to remain safe. You really don't know who is a passive carrier. The season has not begun yet and Raina will certainly realise what he is missing and certainly all the money (a salary of 11 crores per season) he is going to lose."

Srinivasan clarified the same on Monday saying he meant cricketers remain at the forefront of their plans.

"These boys, they’re family," he said. "They’ve been family for over a decade now. When I said ‘cricketers are like prima donnas’, it wasn’t in a negative sense. A prima donna is the lead singer in an opera. Similarly, cricketers are always at the forefront of an exercise like this."

Srinivasan also told The Hindu that the owners do not interfere in the cricketing decisions stressing on his support for Raina.

"Let me make one thing very clear. We own the franchise but not the players," he said.

"One of the key reasons for the tremendous success of CSK over the years is that the franchise doesn’t interfere in the cricketing affairs. That is left to the skipper and the coach.

"If Raina now has opted out of this edition for personal reasons, I completely support his decision. Look, I will never speak ill of a cricketer. I respect players. I am a cricket lover myself. India Cements has always been supportive of the cricketers, much before the IPL came into existence."

Raina had on Saturday left UAE for India due to what the franchise called 'personal reasons'. CSK's official Twitter handle had announced Raina's departure from UAE while saying 'CSK offers complete support to Suresh and his family during this time'. Reports emerged that Raina felt claustrophobic in the bio-secure bubble, especially with 13 members from the CSK touring party turning positive for COVID-19.

Outlook also reported that Raina had a tiff with the team management over facilities in his hotel room.

Raina has played 164 matches for CSK - four more than MS Dhoni's 160 - and is their highest ever run-getter.