Rajasthan Royals’ Director of Cricket Kumar Sangakkara has revealed the franchises' thought process behind not going after one of IPL’s all-time greats Suresh Raina at the 2022 auction. Sangakkara felt Raina’s poor run of form in the recent IPL editions was the primary reason for not getting a team.
Raina, fondly known as ‘Mr IPL’, had been with Chennai Super Kings since the inaugural season of the tournament in 2008 (barring the 2016 and 2017 editions, when the franchise was banned). However, a poor run in the previous season, coupled with a lack of playing time on India's domestic circuit in recent times meant Raina went unsold in the auction.
Legendary Sri Lankan cricketer Kumar Sangakkara, who is currently the Director of Cricket for Rajasthan Royals, spoke in detail about Raina going unsold as he talked about the auction dynamics during a conversation on ‘Red Bull Cricket’ on Clubhouse.
“There are different ways to look at it. As the years go by, players change and reputations are also made new by younger players,” Sangakkara said.
Further explaining Raina's case, Sangakkara opined that sometimes, a cricketer is “not suited for that season.”
“In the case of Suresh Raina, his reputation is unbelievable in IPL cricket. He has been an absolute legend, one of the best and top-most performers season after season. When you go into granular detail, perhaps the player is not suited for that season.” he added.
However, Sangakkara did not show any disrespect while commenting on Raina, saying he will remain “one of the best” despite not getting a team at the age of 35.
“It takes nothing away from the player being one of the best, or the player being of absolutely high quality and it is something that analysts, coaches, and owners look for," he concluded.