Suresh Raina has made a startling statement, saying he will not play IPL from next year if his Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni decides to retire from the tournament. Raina said he wishes to play for CSK till he retires, and said he will convince Dhoni to play IPL 2022 if CSK win this year. Having finished seventh last year, CSK were second in the points table this season when the tournament was suspended due to covid-19 in May. The remainder of the tournament will be played in UAE this September.
“I have four-five years left in me. We have the IPL this year, and then two more teams next year. But I think I’ll play only for CSK till I play. I hope we do well this year," Raina told News 24 Sports.
“If Dhoni bhaai doesn’t play next season, I too won’t play. We’ve been playing since 2008 (for CSK)… if we win this year then I’ll convince him to play next year too."
Raina went on to stress the point.
“I’ll try my best. If he will not play, then I don’t think I will play for any IPL team."
Raina and Dhoni have been pillars of CSK since the inception of IPL in 2008, apart from the two years the franchise was suspended (2016 and 2017). The two have been close off the field too; minutes after Dhoni announced his retirement from international cricket last year, Raina followed suit.
On July 7, Raina paid rich tribute to the former Indian captain by sharing a short video montage of them during their time in the national team and CSK. The footage starts with a clip of Raina and Dhoni in Chennai jersey sitting on the field discussing something, followed by their journey on and off the field. The video ends with a snap of the duo in India’s blue jersey.
Raina also used American singer Bruno Mars’ famous song,Count on me in the background of the video.
“Wishing you a very happy birthday MS Dhoni. You have been a friend, brother & a mentor to me, all one could ever ask for. May God bless you with good health & long life! Thank you for being an iconic player & a great leader,” Raina captioned the video on Instagram.
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Recently, former India player Saba Karim said BCCI must retire MS Dhoni’s jersey number 7.
“I think not only MS Dhoni’s jersey, the BCCI must also preserve the jerseys of many other Indian legends. They must also ensure that the jersey number of that legend is not worn by anyone else. In this manner, one can recognize the achievements and the contributions of the greats of Indian cricket. Most importantly, by doing so you give some much-deserved respect to such legends," said Karim on the Khelneeti podcast.