Former BCCI president and present Chennai Super Kings owner N Srinivasan on Monday clarified his "prima donna" comment on veteran cricketer Suresh Raina which he opined was "taken out of context" and rather hailed the batsman for his contribution to the franchise which "is second to none."
Earlier this week, Raina announced his sudden departure from Dubai for home, hence making himself unavailable for the entire IPL 2020 citing "personal reasons". While a report had suggested that it was due to an attack on his relatives in Pathankot, PTI reported that the latest COVID-19 outbreak in the CSK camp might have been the reason.
But earlier on Sunday, Outlook reported saying that a hotel room rift was the reason, after which even MS Dhoni failed to pacify his deputy, and Srinivasan was left shocked over Raina's departure.
Clarifying his words, Srinivasan, speaking to Times of India, said, his (Raina’s) contribution to the CSK franchise has been phenomenal through the years."
He further opined that "it is important to understand what Suresh is going through right now and give him space."
Raina has been a crucial member for Chennai Super Kings in their 10 years of IPL history where they won three titles. Raina, who is the leading run-getter for the franchise, has scored 5368 runs in 189 innings with 38 half-centuries and a ton at a strike rate of 137.14 Overall, he is the second-highest run-getter in the tournament history and is the most capped player ever.
Praising Rain's contribution as a player, Srinivasan said, "The franchise will always stand by him and he has our complete support during these times of distress."
The former BCCI boss then clarified the "prima donna" comment saying, These boys, they’re family. 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."
Besides Raina, CSK suffered another blow as 13 personnel tested positive for the dreaded virus which included two Indian players - bowler Deepak Chahar and batsman Rituraj Gaikwad.