In a surprising statement, Suresh Raina stated that he would quit the IPL if MS Dhoni retires from the tournament, though he reckons he still has four-five years of cricket left in him. He added that if his franchise Chennai Super Kings wins this year, he will convince MS Dhoni to play next year.
MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina have been very close as friends over the years. While MS Dhoni debuted for India in 2004, Raina made his international debut in 2005, and then both went on to play for a long time to form one of the best middle-order pairs for the Men in Blue. Not only for India, but both Raina and Dhoni have played all the IPL seasons together for the Chennai-based franchise, barring the two years that CSK was suspended from the league and the 2020 edition of the tournament which Raina missed.
Both had announced their international retirement together too, last year, on August 15. Now, there might be a Deja-vu of that, as Suresh Raina claimed that he would quit the IPL if Dhoni hangs up his boot. However, he stated that if their franchise wins, he will convince MS to continue for longer.
“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, reported India Today.
Raina has been quite successful for the Super Kings in the IPL over the years. He has played 166 innings for them and scored 4,650 runs at 33 with a strike rate of 137. He has hit a solitary century to go with 33 fifties. In the first eight seasons of the IPL, he was among the most consistent, aggregating 400 or more runs in seven seasons. However, he was firm with his decision and said he can't play for any other team at this stage of his career.
“I’ll try my best. If he will not play, then I don’t think I will play for any IPL team."
However, the 34-year-old added that he still thinks that he has got four-five years up his sleeve.
“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," stated Raina.