2 weeks back, Deepak Chahar posted a photo on Instagram. It showed some CSK players huddling up together while wearing no masks, throwing social distancing and social responsibility out the window. To this, his cousin brother Rahul Chahar commented ‘No mask, bro?’. Deepak Chahar’s reply was truly astounding, and not in a positive way (pun intended). He replied – ‘All have been tested negative bro 2 times, and we don’t wear mask with family.’
When we look back at this reply with context of what has unfolded recently, it looks completely ridiculous. Let’s address the former part first. The man who ‘has been tested negative 2 times’, has contracted coronavirus now, along with around 13 CSK members. This has caused CSK’s isolation period to increase, and as a result they won’t be able to train for another week or two. There have also been pleas to remove CSK from the competition altogether, because of the safety threat they pose to the other teams, who did follow the precautions religiously. Teams like RR wore full PPE kits while travelling, and didn’t permit their players to meet each other or train together till everyone was confirmed COVID-free. On the other hand, CSK players couldn’t keep their hands off each other for one plane ride.
And now about the second part of Chahar’s reply – ‘We don’t wear masks with family’. First of all, your ‘family’ has travelled from all parts of the country and the world in the middle of a pandemic to be here right now, and you have no idea where they have gone and what measures they have taken. Ad secondly, what sort of family are you if a family member leaves the family and goes just because he doesn’t get a room with a balcony?
Yes, I’m talking about Suresh Raina’s sudden exit from the CSK camp. I know, that he hasn’t clearly stated the reason for leaving, but CSK’s Owner himself has come out and said that the reason Raina left the team was because he wanted a room with a balcony like MS Dhoni’s. I know this sounds completely ridiculous, but you can’t make up stuff like this, right? And coming from someone so closely involved with the team, it has to have some credibility. If the real reason is in fact something personal, then I am extremely sorry for writing about this, but if it isn’t, then it has to be addressed.
Firstly, why is the CSK management differentiating between players? It seems like MS Dhoni was the only player who was given a room with a balcony. Could they not shell out a few more bucks and buy that kind of room for every player, or did Gurunath Meiyappan really need that money for betting on his team and talking to bookies?
And secondly, why didn’t any of the CSK players console Raina or try to keep him there? I mean, this is such a petty issue to walk out on, there has to be something bigger that arose from it. There could’ve been a rift with Dhoni, or with the management. And with representatives of the management passing snarky statements about Raina calling him a ‘prima donna’, that seems to be the likeliest case.
In any case, one thing is clear. This CSK team is in shambles. When CSK won the IPL in 2018, not many people would’ve thought that they would experience such lows just 2 years later. Too many senior players does bring a lot of much-needed experience, but it also brings in lots of ego. And this has ultimately resulted in major problems for the CSK side. I think CSK has reached the same phase as FC Barcelona. They need a complete revamping of the team, the staff, and the management to shift from an aged one-man team, to a younger, collaborative team.