Suresh Raina has cleared the air somewhat about his sudden, "personal" decision to leave the IPL bubble and return to India last weekend. In an exclusive interview to Cricbuzz, the 33-year-old dismisses reports of there being a rift between him and Chennai Super Kings and refers to N Srinivasan's comments about him as a "father scolding his son". Raina also reveals to have been concerned about his young family back home in the wake of the unfortunate incident involving his uncle while hinting that he might end up returning to the IPL camp.
Firstly, what did really happen there that prompted you to decide that you wanted to go home?
It was a personal decision and I had to come back for my family. There was something that needed to be addressed immediately on the home front. CSK is my family too and Mahi bhai (MS Dhoni) is very important to me and this was a tough decision. There is no issue between CSK and me. Nobody will just turn their back on Rs 12.5 crore and walk away without a solid reason. I might have retired from international cricket but I'm still young and I am looking forward to playing for them in the IPL for the next 4-5 years.
How do you react to the critical comments that have come your way from team owner N Srinivasan?
He is like a father figure to me and he's always stood by me and is close to my heart. He treats me like his younger son and am sure a lot of what he said was taken out of context. Ek baap apne bacche ko daant sakta hai(A father can scold his son). He didn't know the real reasons for me leaving when he gave those comments. Now he's been informed about them and he even sent me a message thereafter. We've chatted about it and both CSK and I just want to get over with it.
How do you see your future with CSK then?
I've been training even while quarantining here. You never know you might see me in the camp there again.
How was the challenge of adjusting to being in a bio bubble which you'd never done before?
The team management and BCCI are doing a very commendable job keeping everyone safe. This has never been done before and its new for everyone. It's a highly secure environment and no one without access can move anywhere. We were all inside our rooms with no human interaction and there was a test every 2 days.
There have been reports that you didn't feel comfortable with the bio-security measures in place there.
I have a young family back home and I was concerned about the fact that if something happened to me, unka kya hoga?(what'll happen to them). My family is most important to me and I am really concerned for them during these times. I haven't seen my kids for more than 20 days, even after coming back, since I am in quarantine.
How much of it had to do with the unfortunate incident involving your uncle?
The Pathankot incident was horrible and has really been very disturbing for everyone in our family. And it was my responsibility to come back and take care of them. But since I've returned, I've been in quarantine here. So, I still have to go meet my parents and my buawho are all in great distress.
Did learning about there being other members of the CSK camp who'd tested positive only increase your apprehensions about being there?
It was heart-breaking of course. This is a very deadly disease and even after so many precautions if staff gets infected it just says how bad it can be and it can happen to anyone. I hope everyone gets well soon.