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IPL 2020: Harbhajan Singh to miss this year’s IPL

Harbhajan Singh’s participation in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 was up in the air, until today when he declared that he won’t play in IPL 2020 due to personal reasons.

The IPL keeps on getting even more dramatic especially for the Chennai Super Kings. 13 of their staff including 2 players were tested positive for COVID-19. After that senior player, Suresh Raina pulled out of the tournament to fly back to India. Raina’s hasty retreat has also gained some criticism as it was considered a breach of disciplinary grounds.

But according to an interview he gave in June, it seemed Harbhajan may not participate in IPL 2020 for safety issues pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic. (via indiatoday.in):

“I really want the IPL to happen but only when things are safe not just for me but for everybody associated with the tournament. There are about 200-300 people on the ground whenever a match is played and we need to take care of the safety of everybody present”.

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“Even if there is a 1% chance of the threat of spreading Covid-19 from one of us then IPL should be further postponed. It’s not an issue even if the IPL doesn’t happen this year. Saving lives is the most important.”

Harbhajan Singh wasn’t part of that the CSK team that flew from India to the UAE. He was expected to fly later.

It has now been reported that Harbhajan is the second CSK player to pull out of the IPL. Nothing has been disclosed about the reason as of now except claiming it to be a personal reason.

Will Harbhajan’s unavailability affect CSK?

Filling the void of someone as experienced as Harbhajan can be difficult for any team. However, as per CSK is concerned, they do have enough resources as alternate options. This year they will have the services of an experienced Piyush Chawla who can certainly fill that void. The spin attack will be led by the spearhead leg-spinner Imran Tahir. They also have another leg-spinner in Karn Sharma.

Though CSK doesn’t have a formidable off-spin option, left-arm spinners like Ravindra Jadeja and even Mitchell Santner can contribute.

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