Chennai Super Kings ended speculation about the future of veteran Suresh Raina after it was announced that they retained him for the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League.

The franchise, however, let go of other senior players Harbhajan Singh, Kedar Jadhav, Piyush Chawla and Murali Vijay on Wednesday. Shane Watson had already announced his retirement.

Raina had missed the last edition of the league in UAE after leaving the country abruptly due to personal reasons which had started rumours about his future.

IPL 2021 retention blog: KXIP release Maxwell, RR appoint Samson as captain, CSK let go of Jadhav

According to PTI, the three-time winners decided to continue with Raina in order to bolster the batting order that struggled during a forgettable last season, which culminated in a seventh-place finish and a league-stage elimination for the first time since the tournament’s inception in 2008.

The left-handed Raina has been an integral part of the Super Kings from the beginning, emerging as their highest scorer while guiding them to two IPL titles.

“We won’t change our strategies because of one bad year,” CSK’s Kasi Vishwanathan was quoted as saying by Star Sports.

“Suresh Raina has been one of the most consistent batsmen in IPL, we are confident he’ll do well,” he added later.

Earlier, veteran Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh on Wednesday said his contract with IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings had ended.

The 40-year-old spinner revealed this ahead of next month’s IPL auction and hours before the list of retained players for the upcoming edition is announced.

“As my contract comes to an end with @ChennaiIPL, playing for this team was a great experience..beautiful memories made &some great friends which I will remember fondly for years to come..Thank you @ChennaiIPL, management, staff and fans for a wonderful 2years.. All the best,” Harbhajan had tweeted.

He was part of the CSK team that won the Indian Premier League title in 2018, coming back after a two-year suspension. In the 2019 season, Harbhajan picked up 16 wickets from 11 games at an average of 19.5. In 160 IPL matches (majority of it with Mumbai Indians), Harbhajan has 150 wickets at an average of 26.44 and an economy rate of 7.05.

The deadline for the eight franchises to submit the lists of retained and released players for the next edition of the lucrative league ended on Wednesday. The mini auction is expected to take place in February.

Released CSK players

Harbhajan Singh
Kedar Jadhav
Piyush Chawla
Murali Vijay
Shane Watson
Monu Singh