‘I played for MS Dhoni, then I played for the country’: Suresh Raina

MS Dhoni retired from international cricket on 15 August 2020 and Suresh Raina announced his shortly afterward

Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni while playing for India. AFP

MS Dhoni shocked the cricketing world on 15 August 2020 by announcing his retirement from the international arena. What followed Dhoni’s retirement, who had captained India to the No 1 spot in Tests, victories in ICC ODI and T20 World Cups (2011 and 2007) and ICC Champions Trophy (2013), was the sudden announcement from Suresh Raina, just 30 minutes later, that he was also retiring from international cricket.

While Dhoni retired at the age of 39, Raina was just 33 at the time of his retirement. The fact that Raina retired so young stunned the cricketer fraternity even if the left-handed batter was not in the Team India squad at the time of taking the call. Raina’s last match came in ODIs in 2018 July against England.

Raina has now explained, in a conversation with Sports Tak, his decision to retire from international cricket immediately after Dhoni did the same.

“We played so many matches together. I was fortunate to play with him for India, and with CSK. We got a lot of love. I’ve come from Ghaziabad, Dhoni from Ranchi. I played for MS Dhoni, then I played for the country. That’s the connection. We’ve played so many finals, we won the World Cup. He’s a great leader and a great human being,” Raina said.

Raina, a Chennai Super Kings Legend, last played in Indian Premier League in 2021. In the 2022 auction, he went unsold and eventually retired from the IPL as well.

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