• Raina says he had to return to India from UAE due to personal reasons
  • He hints he could rejoin CSK ahead of IPL 2020
  • Raina is the most-capped player in the IPL

Former Indian cricketer Suresh Raina has rubbished reports about a possible feud between him and his Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise -- Chennai Super Kings (CSK).

Raina recently left the CSK squad in the UAE and returned to India and as a result, rumors began to surface that he had a fallout with captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni over his hotel room. The news came as a major blow for the three-time champions in addition to the fact that 13 members from the CSK camp had tested positive for COVID-19, including two players – Deepak Chahar and Ruturaj Gaikwad. As per the latest reports, they all have tested negative after undergoing the mandatory quarantine protocol.

Raina, who has been associated with CSK since the inaugural IPL edition in 2008, is currently the second-highest run-scorer in the tournament with 5,368 runs at 137.14 in as many as 189 innings. He is behind Indian captain Virat Kohli, who has scored 5,412 runs over the last 12 IPL campaigns. Raina shares a great relationship with his CSK captain Dhoni as the two announced retirement from international cricket on the same day in August.

Raina and Dhoni have been core members of CSK that ended up as runners up in 2019 after losing to Mumbai Indians by one run. Rohit Sharma’s Mumbai Indians hold the record for most IPL titles – 4, while Rohit has won the cash-rich league five times, his first title came during his stint with Deccan Chargers in 2009, when Adam Gilchrist-led side defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the final.

Raina, who is the most-capped player in the history of IPL with 193 matches to his name, has cleared the air in a recent interview with the Indian cricket website Cricbuzz. Raina has insisted that he had to suddenly leave CSK’s camp and fly back to India due to personal reasons that needed to be addressed immediately.

"It was a personal decision and I had to come back to my family. There was something that needed to be addressed immediately on the home front. CSK is my family too and Mahi bhai (brother) is very important to me and this was a tough decision. There is no issue between CSK and me," Raina added in the Cricbuzz interview.

The middle-order batsman has also admitted that he has been training even while quarantining in India as there are chances that he might rejoin Dhoni-led CSK ahead of the IPL 2020, which is scheduled to begin on Sept. 19.

"I've been training even while quarantining here. You never know you might see me in the camp there again," Raina said.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Mahendra Singh Dhoni's India side are favorites to lift the Asia Cup, but he has suffered a back injury ahead of the tournament. Getty Images