Chennai Super Kings’ Harbhajan Singh will miss the entire IPL 2020 for “personal reasons”. It is learned he conveyed his decision to excuse him from the tournament this year to the management on Thursday. The experienced off-spinner was earlier expected to join the team on September 1.

The IPL rules may not allow a player to return to the competition once he has given a letter to the authorities stating he is pulling out of the tournament and flies back home, particularly in the times of COVID and the subsequent quarantine periods and protocols.

“Harbhajan Singh informed us he won’t be available due to personal reasons. Team Chennai Super Kings is supportive of his decision and stands by him and his family during these testing times,” said Kasi Viswanathan, CEO.

The news came as another setback to the Super Kings camp, after Suresh Raina too pulled out of the Twenty20 League and 13 of CSK’s members – including two players Deepak Chahar and Ruturaj Gaikwad – tested positive for Covid-19.  As a result, CSK was forced to postpone the start of its training while all the other teams have already hit the nets in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Reigning champions Mumbai Indians (MI) have confirmed that they will be without the services of their talisman Lasith Malinga, who has pulled out of the upcoming edition of the IPL.

The slinging pacer missed the inaugural IPL due to an injury. Despite being ruled out of the 2018 edition, he was roped in as abowling coach by MI. However, the Sri Lankan veteran made a remarkable return last year. His tally of 16 wickets, albeit at a high economy rate of 9.76, was a critical aspect of MI winning a record fourth title.

The IPL is yet to announce a schedule with a fortnight to go for the opener on September 19, which is expected to be played between the Super Kings and Mumbai Indians.

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