Mahendra Singh Dhoni, a former captain of India, shocked the crowd on August 15, 2020, with an unexpected Instagram post announcing his retirement from international cricket. It’s not as if there weren’t rumours that MS Dhoni would retire from cricket after his stint with India, but with the Covid-19 outbreak halting play, many people thought he may play again for India when play resumed.

If Dhoni’s retirement surprised the crowd, what followed around 30 minutes later was something nobody had anticipated. Announcing his retirement from international cricket was Suresh Raina, who had been a key member of the Chennai Super Kings team and was 33 at the time. Raina had fallen out of favour with the Indian squad at the time; his last game for the team was an ODI against England in 2018.

Fans were shocked by his retirement at such a young age. Since the duo’s retirement more than two years ago, Raina has now shared his reasons for ending his international career. Immediately after Dhoni declared the same, Raina was questioned by Sports Tak about the reason for his international retirement.

“We participated in a lot of games together. I had the good fortune to play alongside him both for India and CSK. We received plenty of love. Dhoni is from Ranchi, whereas I am from Ghaziabad. I first played for MS Dhoni before representing my nation. The link is there. We’ve participated in so many championship games and have won the World Cup. He’s a terrific leader and a fantastic person,” Raina remarked in defence of his choice.

Before finally retiring from the league as well, Raina participated in his last season of the Indian Premier League in 2021. He had signed up for the IPL super auction in 2022, but after setting his base price at INR 2 crore, he had no takers.

Raina was crucial to India’s victory in the 2011 World Cup, contributing significantly to the team’s lower-middle order. In a 13-year international career, the outstanding left-handed hitter played for the team in 18 Tests, 226 ODIs, and 78 T20Is.