After having written a letter to MS Dhoni post-retirement, hailing his achievements, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also penned a tribute to Suresh Raina, who also retired within hours of MSD.
Modi praised Raina, writing that he “lived and breathed cricket”.
“Generations will remember you not only as a fine batsman but also a very useful bowler who the captain could turn to when the situation demanded,” wrote the prime minister. “Your fielding was exemplary and inspiring. Some of the best catches in recent international cricket have your distinctive imprint.”
Modi also praised Raina for his “inspiring role” in the 2011 World Cup especially in the quarterfinal against Australia.
“I can confidently say that most fans will miss seeing your elegant cover drives, one which I was lucky to witness live that day,” he wrote.
He added that Raina would always be “synonymous with team spirit”.
“You played not for personal glory but for the glory of your team and the glory of India,” wrote PM Modi.
The former India batsman posted Prime Minister Modi’s letter on Twitter, thanking him for his words.
“When we play, we give our blood & sweat for the nation. No better appreciation than being loved by the people of this country and even more by the country’s PM. Thank you @narendramodi ji for your words of appreciation & best wishes. I accept them with gratitude. Jai Hind!” he tweeted.
Raina announced his retirement shortly after Dhoni did and in a similar manner - with a post on Instagram captioned, “It was nothing but lovely playing with you, @mahi7781 . With my heart full of pride, I choose to join you in this journey. Thank you India. Jai Hind."
Raina finished his One-Day International (ODI) career with 5,615 runs at an average of 35.13 and a strike rate of 93.50. In Twenty20 internationals he made 1,605 runs at an average 29.18 and with a strike rate of 134.87.