Chennai Super Kings became one of the six Indian Premier League (IPL) teams to buy a franchise in the newly-launched Cricket South Africa (CSA) T20 League. Now speculation is already rife whether former India players MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina will be seen in action in South Africa, early next year.
Raina announced his retirement from all forms of cricket on August 15, 2020, shortly after MS Dhoni’s announcement of bidding goodbye to international cricket. While Dhoni is still part of the IPL and captain of CSK, Raina was released by the franchise ahead of IPL 2022 and wasn’t signed by any side in the players’ auction, after which he took up commentary job with the official broadcasters.
Speaking in a video shared on his YouTube channel, former India opener Aakash Chopra said, “When Indian franchises buy all six teams in the CSA T20 league, it becomes a totally Indian league. Indian franchises are there in the UAE T20 league as well. If it keeps growing like this, franchises might want their players to play in different places. I actually see Suresh Raina play.”
Chopra said that he believes Raina will be a sought-after player if he makes himself available. “I see some of the Indian players playing in these leagues very soon. Those who are not playing in the IPL, they are all available, but Raina is a very interesting case. A lot of people might want to spend a lot of money on him.”
At present, Indian cricketers who play in the IPL are not allowed to take part in any other T20 league around the world.
Reliance Industries, owners of five-time IPL champions Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings Cricket Limited, owners of four-time IPL winners Chennai Super Kings, on Wednesday expressed delight over buying Cape Town and Johannesburg teams in South Africa’s upcoming new T20 League.
On Wednesday, Cricket South Africa (CSA) announced that Mumbai and Chennai expanded their footprint in global T20 Leagues by buying the Cape Town franchise, based at Newlands and Johannesburg franchise, based at Wanderers, in its new T20 League scheduled to be held in January and February 2023. The Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg, famously known as the Bullring, will be the home ground of the franchise owned by Chennai Super Kings Cricket Limited. Co-incidentally, Chennai Super Kings were one of the semifinalists in the 2009 IPL held in South Africa and emerged champions in the now-defunct 2010 Champions League Twenty20 defeating the Warriors at the Wanderers in the final.