Bengaluru, January 20: Chennai Super Kings were expected to make a largescale overhaul to their squad ahead of IPL 2021. It was because they exited from the IPL 2020 in the group stage itself, a first in their brilliant history. Till IPL 2020, the Super Kings were the only team that entered all the IPL knockouts.
But on Wednesday (January 20), the Chennai Super Kings made a rather subdued retention and release activity, releasing only 6 players. They also retained Suresh Raina, who had withdrawn from the IPL 2020 after entering the bio-bubble in the UAE.
Raina's sudden return to India had evoked some sharp reaction from CSK top brass especially owner N Srinivasan, who had suggested that fame had gone on to the left-hander's head. But both the parties soon found a common meeting ground, leading to his retention. Raina remains the second highest run-getter in the IPL behind Virat Kohli, captain of Royal Challengers Bangalore.
The Chennai Super Kings had also put paid to the talks about the future of MS Dhoni, who had retired from international cricket in mid-2020. The CSK CEO Kasi Viswanathan made it clear that Dhoni will be part of the Chennai outfit and he will continue to lead the side. Dhoni also made a curt reply when he was asked about his IPL/CSK future, saying: "I am not going anywhere."
Here's the full list of released and retained players by the CSK.
1. Released players: Piyush Chawla, Kedar Jadhav, M Vijay, Harbhajan Singh, Monu Kumar Singh Shane Watson (retired from all cricket).
2. Retained players: MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Dwayne Bravo, Josh Hazlewood, Sam Curran, KM Asif, Deepak Chahar, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, N Jagadeesan, Karn Sharma, Lungi Ngidi, Mitchell Santner, Ravindra Jadeja, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shardul Thakur, R Sai Kishore.