Applauding Suresh Raina on his glorious cricketing career, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the southpaw ‘lived and breathed cricket’.
“I do not want to use the word ‘retirement’ because you are too young and energetic to ‘retire’. During your cricketing career, you sometimes faced setbacks including injuries but every time you overcame those challenges, thanks to your tenacity,” PM Modi said in a two-page note to Raina.
In the letter, PM Modi recollected how much he enjoyed Raina’s most famous innings of 34 not out in a tricky run-chase against a formidable Australia in the 2011 World Cup quarter-final at Motera. “India can never forget your inspiring role during the 2011 World Cup especially during the later matches. I saw you live in action at the Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad, during the Quarter Final against Australia. Your anchoring innings had a big role to play in our team’s victory.
“I can confidently say that most fans will miss your elegant cover drives, one which I was lucky to witness that day,” said the PM, who was back then the Chief Minister of Gujarat. The PM also described Raina as the perfect team-man who enjoyed others’ successes.
“…Suresh Raina will always be synonymous with team spirit. You played not for personal glory but for the glory of your team and the glory of India.
“Your enthusiasm on the field was infectious and we could all witness that you would be among the first and most animated players to celebrate the fall of opposing team’s wicket,” the PM wrote. A bonafide IPL legend, Raina was praised by the Prime Minister for his prowess in the T20 format.
“As a batsman, you especially distinguished yourself across all mediums and particularly in the newest form of the game, the T20 cricket. This is not an easy format.
The PM also praised Raina for his participation in social initiatives like ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ and the cause of women’s empowerment.
Raina, on his part, thanked the Prime Minister for the appreciation.
He took to Twitter on Friday (August 21) and shared the letter of appreciation from PM Modi, writing, “When we play, we give our blood & sweat for the nation. No better appreciation than being loved by the people of this country and even more by the country’s PM. Thank you @narendramodi ji for your words of appreciation & best wishes. I accept them with gratitude. Jai Hind!”
33-year-old Raina, a member of the 2011 World Cup-winning India team, announced his retirement on August 15, minutes after Mahendra Singh Dhoni decided to call it quits internationally. The two players, who are close friends as well, will turn up for Chennai Super Kings in the IPL now.