Former Indian middle-order batsman Suresh Raina will mark his return to professional cricket by leading Uttar Pradesh in the upcoming edition of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, which usually takes place in November, will be staged in January due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Suresh Raina has also captained the side in the 2015-16 season of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.
Along with MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina announced his retirement from international cricket in August this year. The 34-year old, who was part of India’s World Cup-winning team in 2011, last donned the national jersey back in July 2018. Raina’s inconsistent form in the international arena and the emergence of other candidates in the middle-order led to his non-selection.
The left-handed batsman featured in 226 ODIs, 78 T20Is, and 15 Tests, having debuted in 2005. Despite quitting international cricket, Raina remains keen to perform for his state side and has been putting some hard yards in training. The 2021 edition of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy commences from the 10th of January and ends on the 31st, slated to be played across six venues.
Suresh Raina keen to play in IPL 2021:
Raina, who is currently spending his time helping youngsters from Jammu & Kashmir to make it to the big leagues, has expressed his desire to play in IPL 2021. The explosive batsman pulled out of this year’s IPL, owing to personal reasons and the Chennai Super Kings, who did not make it to the playoffs for the first time, felt his absence.
Nevertheless, his chances of retention by the three-time champions partially depends upon his performances in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. Raina last played a competitive game back in 2019 during that edition’s IPL final. He is one of the experienced batsmen in IPL and with 5368 runs, he remains amongst the highest run-getters in the history of the tournament.