Dubai: Suresh Raina, Chennai Super Kings star, left the UAE on Friday as he started getting ‘worried’ about his family and the two young children back in India due to the COVID-19 situation there, according to a close family friend in Dubai.
Ajay Sethi, chairman of the Channel 2 Group which holds broadcast rights of major cricekting events in the region and a family friend of the Rainas, told Gulf News: ‘‘Suresh (Raina) called me back after repeated messages from me during the day. He apologised to the fans of the UAE and said he decided to leave the CSK camp suddenly as he was getting concerned about his wife Priyanka and their two young children, four-year-old daughter Gracia and four-month old son Rio in view of the pandemic situation back home.
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‘‘Raina told me that he started missing the family badly, especially the children, from the time he landed in Dubai. Since the CSK team management decided against players travelling with their families in the initial stages of the IPL, they could not accompany him either and even Rio’s passport was not ready,’’ said Sethi.
According to Sethi, Raina said it was a ‘‘purely personal decision’’ and he would be speaking to the media once his quarantine period in India is over. ‘‘He is now staying with his parents in Ghaziabad in UP in self-isolation because of the travel, while his family stays in Vasant Bihar in New Delhi,’’ he added.
“Suresh Raina has returned to India for personal reasons and will be unavailable for the remainder of the IPL season. Chennai Super Kings offers complete support to Suresh and his family during this time,” CSK tweeted CEO Kasi Viswanathan’s statement on Saturday morning.