India Prime Minister Narendra Modi has lauded Suresh Raina for his stimulating cricket journey through a heartwarming letter. Modi thanked Raina for making India a front-runner in sports and inspiring the young minds of the nation.
Just like his letter to Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Thursday, the Prime Minister wrote an uplifting letter to Raina in which he mentioned the latter’s achievements and hailed the southpaw batsman for maintaining the team spirit.
Raina also announced his retirement from international cricket on August 15, the same day when Dhoni bid farewell to the fascinating game.
Here is the full text of the letter:
On August 15, you decided to make what would surely have been one of the toughest decisions of your life. I do not want to use the word ‘retirement’ because you are way too young and energetic to ‘retire’. You are padding up for the next innings of your life, after an extremely fruitful innings on the cricket field.
You have lived and breathed cricket. Your interest in the sport began early in life, in the by-lanes of Muradnagar and subsequently found feet in the playgrounds of Lucknow. There on, what an eventful journey it has been, culminating in the most important honour of representing India – a country you love deeply – in all three forms of the game.
Generations will remember you not only as a fine batsman but also as a very useful bowler who the captain could turn to when the situation demanded. 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 just the number of runs you have saved by your alertness on the field.
As a batsman, you especially distinguished yourself across all mediums and particularly in the newest form of the game, the T-20 cricket. This is not an easy format. In tune with our times, it requires quick fixes in double-quick time. Again, your promptness and speed were assets for this form.
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, 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 seeing your elegant cover drives, one which I was lucky to witness live that day.
Sportspersons are admired not only for their conduct on the field but also off the field. Your fighting spirit can motivate many youngsters. During your cricketing career, you sometimes faced setbacks including injuries but every time you overcame these challenges, thanks to your tenacity.
At the same time, 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.
Your care and compassion towards society is visible in your numerous community service efforts. You have passionately supported efforts towards women empowerment, Swachh Bharat and helping the needy. I am glad you are attached to India’s cultural roots and proud of deepening youth’s connect with our glorious ethos as well as value systems.
I am confident you will have an equally fruitful and successful innings in whatever you wish to pursue in the times to come. I do hope you will use this opportunity to spend even more quality time with Priyanka, Gracia and Rio.
Thank you for doing whatever you can to make India a leader in sports and constantly inspiring young minds.
On Friday (August 21), Raina took to Twitter and shared the letter of appreciation sent in by PM Modi with a caption, “When we play, we give our blood & sweat for the nation. No better appreciation than being loved by people of this country & country’s PM. Thank you, PM, for your words of appreciation & best wishes. I accept them with gratitude. Jai Hind.”
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!🇮🇳 pic.twitter.com/l0DIeQSFh5
— Suresh Raina🇮🇳 (@ImRaina) August 21, 2020
Raina played 322 international matches for Team India, in which he accumulated 7988 runs with 7 hundreds and 48 half-centuries.