“I do not want to use the word ‘retirement’ because you are too young and energetic to ‘retire’,” PM Modi, wrote in a two-page letter to Raina.
The 33-year-old Raina, a member of the 2011 World Cup-winning India team, announced his retirement on August 15, minutes after Dhoni announced his. The two players, who are close friends, will be playing for Chennai Super Kings in the IPL now.
Raina thanked PM Modi, saying: “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,” the cricketer tweeted.
In the letter, 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, the one I was lucky to witness that day,” said PM Modi, who was back then the Chief Minister of Gujarat.
The PM additionally described Rain as the classic team-man who appreciated others’ achievements as well.
“…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.
The bonafide IPL legend, Suresh Raina was honored by the Prime Minister for prowess in the T20 format. PM Modi, bestowing praise upon the IPL’s most yielding batsman, wrote: “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.”
Acknowledging Raina’s fielding, PM Modi also said, “Your fielding was exemplary and inspiring.“Some of the best catches in recent international cricket have your distinctive imprint. It would take days to count the number of runs you saved with your alertness on the field.”, he added.
PM Modi also felicitated Raina for his assistance in social initiatives like ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ and the cause of women’s empowerment.