As India rejoiced its 74th Independence Day, legendary cricketers MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina announced their retirement from international cricket. Thereby, shocking the entire cricketing fraternity and their monumental army of ardent fans.
The iconic duo of Dhoni and Raina for Indian cricket can be compared to the famous cinematic pair of Jai-Veeru from the blockbuster movie ‘Sholay’.
The two entered into the Indian team and made their debut at roughly the same timeline (eighth months apart, to be precise).
From there on, the duo formed the core of the lower-middle order for several years. Both Raina and Dhoni had been part of several Indian victories, which is part of folklore.
Their dynamic combination reaped rich rewards for their franchise Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and was tagged as ‘Thala’ and ‘China Thala’ by the Tamil Nadu masses.
In their Indian Premier League (IPL) career, the two were only separated during CSK’s two-year hiatus from the tournament.
Dhoni and Raina chose opposite camps briefly while captaining the Rising Pune Supergiants and Gujarat Lions.
Now, Raina has opened up about the reason why the two close friends and CSK talismans decided to hang up their India boots on the auspicious occasion.
“We had already made up our minds to retire on Saturday (August 15). Dhoni’s jersey number is 7 and mine is 3 – put it together and it makes 73. And on August 15, India completed 73 years of independence, so there couldn’t have been a better day,” Raina told Dainik Jagaran.
“Dhoni began his career on December 23 2004 against Bangladesh in Chittagong (now Chattogram), while I made my debut on July 30, 2005 against Sri Lanka in 2005. Both of us almost began together in international cricket, remained together at CSK, and so we now retired together and will continue to play in IPL together,” he added.
Both Dhoni and Raina have already commenced their preparations for the thirteenth edition of the IPL, starting September 19.