Former West Indies skipper Daren Sammy has stated that India's Suresh Raina is the nicest cricketer that he has ever met. Sammy also said that the retirement of Dhoni and Raina on the same day shows the level of friendship between the two and the respect that Raina has for MS Dhoni.
Daren Sammy, who is currently plying his trade for Saint Lucia Zouks in the CPL, has heaped praises on former Indian cricketers Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni, both of whom announced their respective retirements on the same day, a few weeks ago. Sammy also hailed the friendship that both the CSK stars share amid recent reports of rift between Raina and Dhoni, after the former left IPL due to personal reasons.
Sammy, who has featured in T20 cricket leagues across the globe in tourneys like IPL, CPL, PSL and Global T20 Canada reckons that Raina's contribution to cricket must be acknowledged.
"I know a lot of praises and best wishes have been going to MS Dhoni. But for me Suresh Raina is the nicest cricketer that I have ever met. Nicest international cricketer with full of grace, a very humble player and a very stylish batsman,” Sammy told TOI.
“Jonty Rhodes also rated him as the best fielder in the world. It's important that we acknowledge his contribution to the game as well. I guess for Raina and Dhoni to bow out almost at the same time and on the same day, it shows the level of friendship and the level of respect that Raina has for Dhoni.”
The 36-year-old also further added that it will be 'impossible' to replace MS Dhoni as captain.
"Dhoni I think will be impossible to replace specially as a captain and Raina for the entertainment he has provided over the years with his strokeplay and his fielding and he was something that was entertaining and exciting to watch," the West Indies all-rounder said.
The only captain in the world to win two T20 World Cups, Sammy drew comparisons between IPL and CPL.
"IPL is the 'Mecca' of T20 cricket while CPL is the 'Mecca' of entertainment in cricket. This year we had no funds but there is no experience like playing in CPL in front of a full house in the Carribean. In CPL, you have some of the biggest hitters and superstars of the world. IPL is the most lucrative in all of the leagues and it's being played in India - a place where cricket is like a religion. Both have their own special identity. I have enjoyed playing in both the places," said Sammy, who represented West Indies in 38 Tests, 126 ODIs and 68 T20I internationals.