Harbhajan Singh has called for people to "respect his privacy" after he opted out of IPL 2020, saying that family takes precedence over sport.

"I have informed the CSK management about my decision to pull out of this year's IPL. I have decided to take a break due to personal reasons in these difficult times. I expect that everyone would respect my need for privacy," Singh told PTI on Friday.

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Singh's exit will leave Chennai Super Kings with depleted spin stocks for the tournament scheduled in the UAE, where slower bowlers are expected to play a significant role given the conditions and the fact that only three venues will host all games. However, the offspinner reiterated that the franchise was supportive of his decision, having earlier tweeted the same.

"When I told the CSK management about my decision, they were very supportive and I can't thank them enough for that," he said. "I would only say that there are times when family takes precedence over sport. My young family is my focus of attention now. But yes my heart will be in the UAE with my team. I am sure that Chennai Super Kings will put up yet another fabulous performance."

Singh has played for CSK since 2018, when he was picked at the auction for his base price of INR 2 crore. In 24 matches with the franchise, he has taken 23 wickets at an average of 25.30 and an economy rate of 7.67. Before that, Singh had been a key part of Mumbai Indians, staying with the franchise for ten years, and playing 136 matches for them, taking 127 wickets.