Former India and current Chennai Super Kings (CSK) batsman Suresh Raina has made a surprising statement that he will not play the next IPL if his friend and teammate MS Dhoni decides to call it time on his cricket career. Raina said he wishes to play for CSK till he retires, and said he will convince Dhoni to play IPL 2022 if CSK wins this year.
Both MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina were bought by the India Cements owned franchise in the inaugural IPL auction in 2008 and have been with the team since that time, excluding the two years the franchise was banned from IPL. Having finished seventh last year, CSK was 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.
If MS Dhoni Bhai Doesn’t Play Next Season, I Too Won’t Play: Suresh Raina
Raina is amongst the top 5 all-time highest run-getters in the tournament with 5491 runs in 200 matches with 1 century and 39 half-centuries. He averages 33.07 and has a strike rate of 136.89. He has hit 202 sixes and 502 fours and has also taken 103 catches.
“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. If Dhoni bhai 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 told News 24 Sports.
“I’ll try my best. If he will not play, then I don’t think I will play for any IPL team,” he added.
The two have been close off the field too. In fact, when MS Dhoni announced his retirement from international cricket on August 15, 2020, Suresh Raina followed suit and announced his retirement as well a few minutes later. His announcement was shocking as he had all the chances of playing for India given his age and with 2 T20 World Cups coming up.