Once a star and the prime finisher in India’s limited overs’ cricket squad, Suresh Raina has lately struggled to maintain a consistent place in the ‘Men in Blue’ squad. The extent of his struggle can be exemplified by the fact that once in the A-category, Suresh Raina has been dropped by BCCI from all grades of their Central Contract List.
Explaining the reason, one of his UPCA coaches accused Raina to have lost interest in cricket and diverting all his focus on his young family. Not many could disagree with the coach considering that Raina has been absent on the field for Uttar Pradesh during most part of the domestic season. Fans might have started to think that Raina must be thinking about life after cricket.
“Nahi, nahi, meine aisa kuch nahi socha hai. Aap kya soch rahe ho?”, Raina said in a light-hearted mood dismissing all claims about the southpaw moving on from cricket. He is just 30-years old and must have felt awkward on people talking about the twilight part of his career.
Raina also explained the reason behind his absence from the domestic season. He told Indian Express that he is still passionate about the game but his responsibilities as a father were much bigger than that as a cricketer. His 11-month daughter was ill and it was his duty to be there for her.
“Logon ka kaam chahiye bolne ka - aisa hai, waisa hai, “he says. “I have to take my daughter to hospital, “I have to do the work at home and I can’t see how people can criticise me for that?”, he said.
“It was a testing couple of months and I had to miss out on cricket but circumstances were such - my health and my daughter’s.”, he added.
Raina also expressed his doubts about being dropped from BCCI’s contract list despite featuring for India in the T20I series against England this year. He said, “As far as BCCI contracts, my understanding is that if in the last six months you had played for India, you would at least be slotted in the C group. I had played a T20 game (against England) so I don’t know what happened.” “Anyways my focus is to get back to playing for India”, he added.
One of the fittest cricketers in the side once, Suresh Raina has gained some weight now. On being asked about his weight issues, Raina burst into laughter and explained, “I was out for viral and illness, and could not train much. But I am fully recovered now and started training.”
All this drama around him has not seeped any bitterness in Raina. He bashed the critics saying, “Definitely there is no bitterness. The people who say stuff also need to look at themselves. My attitude will always remain same. I will try to dominate with my bat and spread positive vibes on the field.”
After a long break, Suresh Raina is gearing up for another IPL season for Gujarat Lions. He is the only player to feature in the play-offs of every single IPL season and will certainly look to continue the legacy. More than that, he will be looking to perform with the bat again in the quest of making a comeback to international cricket again.