Former India cricketer, Suresh Raina has made his professional comeback to the cricket field after more than 600 days; the left-hander last played a high-level game in the final of the IPL 2019 against Mumbai Indians. Fondly known as Mr IPL, Raina skipped the IPL 2020 in the UAE owing to personal reasons.
Raina, who announced his retirement from international cricket on 15th August, played for Uttar Pradesh in the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, which is India’s premier T20 domestic tournament.
Suresh Raina hits a six on the first ball
UP’s opening fixture was against the Mandeep Singh-led Punjab team in the KSCA cricket ground in Alur. Punjab won the toss and opted to bat. International pacer, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who was also making his return to the field after last seen in the IPL for Sunrisers Hyderabad, took 3 wickets to restrict Punjab to a mediocre total of 134.
UP started cautiously with an opening stand of 33 runs from 31 balls. Raina came in to bat at number 3 and smashed his first ball for a six.
The southpaw notched up a gritty half-century and remained unbeaten on 56 from 50 balls but couldn’t take his team over the line as the pitch became difficult to play shots, and Raina kept losing partners from the other end. UP succumbed to an 11-run defeat on Sunday.
Suresh Raina to play in the IPL 2021
The 34-year-old returned from the UAE ahead of the IPL 2020; with reports of the demise of a close person in his family, and owing to concerns with several covid-19 cases in the Chennai Super Kings camp.
There were also several speculations about the former India player being unhappy with the CSK management for not being provided with the room of his choice. This had concerned CSK fans whether their star batsman will keep his association with the franchise.
However, in December, speaking to Dainik Jagran, Raina had confirmed his participation in IPL 2021, which is likely to be staged in April in India. The Ghaziabad-born batsman is the second-highest run-scorer currently in the IPL.