An attacking left-handed batsman who goes for the big shots and clears the field with a heroic flourish when at the top of his game!
Yes, we are talking about Suresh Raina (32), the southpaw who is India’s finest T20 batsman. Though he is not in the Indian cricket team currently or though his stats may not look highly impressive, his contributions for the Indian team are invaluable and cannot be compared with statistics. His journey from living in hostel dorms to nap on the floor and struggling to get the day, this Uttar Pradesh lad has done it all.
Suresh Trilokchand Raina
Date of Birth
November 27, 1986
Muradnagar, Uttar Pradesh
5 ft 9 in
Teams Played for
Indian Cricket Team, Chennai Super Kings
Early life struggle
Born and raised in a military background, Raina maintained a disciplined life. Suresh firmly decided to play cricket at the age of 14 and moved to Specialist Government Sports College. But what came after was unbelievable.
Boys in the hostel were callous with him. Some of them, from the athletics branch, were jealous that he was getting the attention from cricket coaches. He used to sleep on the floor and the struggle was on the peak.
Early mark in cricket
But it is rightly said, hard work reaps success. A call came from Mumbai to play cricket for Air India — an event which changed his life thoroughly. At domestic circuit club named Air India, Pravin Amre invigorated him a lot and things started to flow.
Within quick time, Raina got a scholarship with Air India that paid him Rs 10,000. “I would send 8,000 to my family. An STD call to home would cost four rupees, and as soon as two minutes would end, I would keep the phone down. All that taught me the value of money,” Suresh recalled in an interview with Yourstory.com. Later, he progressed to become the skipper of Uttar Pradesh U-19 side.
Raina’s cricketing journey
— UPCA (@UPCACricket) February 22, 2019
Suresh Raina got into the limelight after he was selected to represent India U-19 at the age of just 15 years. After remarkable performances at a tender age, Raina was awarded a Border-Gavaskar scholarship to train at the Australian Cricket Academy. Once he started playing, he never looked back and soon he was selected for 2004 U-19 World Cup.
After displaying great knocks and impressing everyone, this young prodigy made his international debut against Sri Lanka in 2005. Unfortunately, he was dismissed on duck by legendary spinner Muttiah Muralitharan.
Raina waited as long as five years to play a Test match and finally, in 2010 he was called up for ‘white dress cricket.’ The numbers don’t reveal how valuable he was during the 2008-2011, an era which was the finest stages of Team India’s ODI history with World Cup glory.
April 2, 2011 – the historic night that had everyone high on emotions – a billion dreams came true. We could barely control the thrill of the win, the dressing room was filled with an incredible energy. Everyone was in happy tears! Fantastic memories of World Cup 2011. pic.twitter.com/U50qfhTZhO
— Suresh Raina?? (@ImRaina) April 2, 2019
After the 2015 World Cup, he endured a couple of poor series which led to his axing from the side. He wasn’t quite able to make the runs in the domestic circuit. He played T20Is although he found himself dropped from there as well.
Also Read: Suresh Raina Crosses 8000 Rus in T20 Cricket
Youngest T20 skipper
At the age of 23, Suresh Raina went on to become the youngest captain for India in the T20I format. Along with this, he also became the second youngest player to lead India in any format, the youngest being Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi at the age of 21.
Raina’s IPL stint
— Chennai Super Kings (@ChennaiIPL) April 5, 2019
Suresh Raina played a vital Man of the Match performance in the last league fixture to give Chennai Super Kings the win they required to qualify for the semi-finals. Again in 2010 IPL, Raina’s consistent batting throughout the series won him applause and became the all-time run-getter of the league.
He also captained the Super Kings for three matches in skipper Dhoni’s absence and took some sensational catches in the field. He scored 520 runs in all, making him the third highest run-getter of the series and the first for Chennai.
— Suresh Raina?? (@ImRaina) March 9, 2019
At the end of the season, Raina set the record for most runs scored in the tournament, with 421, 434, and 520. In the 2011 IPL too, Raina maintained his reputation as the leading run-scorer with 438 runs, again being the only player to cross 400 do so for all the seven seasons.
In 2013 IPL, Raina scored 548 runs at a healthy average of 42.15 and strike rate of 150.13. At the start of the season, he was struggling with his form but in the other half, he regained his form. Raina kept going in 2014 as well where he scored 523 runs.
But 2015 saw the decrease in his bat power as he managed to score only 374 runs in 17 matches. Raina was signed for Gujarat Lions in 2016 after suspension on CSK. But in 2018, the lad was retained by Chennai Super Kings at the price of Rs 11 crore.
— Suresh Raina?? (@ImRaina) December 25, 2018
Suresh Raina’s family includes his father Trilokchand Raina, mother Parvesh Raina, his three older brothers- Dinesh Raina, Naresh Raina and Mukesh Raina and his one elder sister- Renu Raina. He is the youngest of five siblings. He married his childhood friend and banker, Priyanka Chaudhary on April 3, 2015. Raina and Priyanka were blessed with a daughter Gracia Raina in 2016 in the Netherlands.
More than a game
Suresh Raina took one step ahead and this was off-field. On the first birthday of his daughter, Raina announced the launch of Gracia Raina Foundation. It was established with a goal of empowering women, with knowledge and awareness that further enables them to make improved reproductive and maternal health-oriented decisions.
COO of @RedFMIndia, @nisha_narayanan believes that to achieve #genderbalance at home or workplace equal participation is required. “A supportive family is the only way to shuffle work & home.” #happywomensday #womensday2019 #womenempowerment #workingwomen #BalanceForBetter pic.twitter.com/sO02r3wzj9
— Gracia Raina Foundation (@grfCare) March 7, 2019
In 2018, he sang the song ‘Bitiya Rani’ to promote support for girls on behalf of his wife’s radio show ‘The Priyanka Raina Show’.
Lesser known facts about Suresh Raina
- He is the third batsman around the globe and first Indian to hit a T20I century.
- Raina is the only Indian to score centuries in both T20I and One Day International World Cup.
- At the age of 16, he made his first appearance in Ranji Trophy for Uttar Pradesh against Assam in 2003.
- Raina is second in the world and first Indian player to hit 100 sixes in the IPL.
- He went to sing a song for Bollywood film ‘Meeruthiya Gangsters in 2015.
- He tattooed ‘Believe’ on his arm.
- Raina has said in some interviews that he likes cooking. In a chat with ESPNCricinfo, he revealed that during his first tour as a captain of the Indian team, he had cooked for the whole team.
Suresh Raina is one of the highest paid IPL players. He was retained by the CSK franchise in 2018. Raina owns a house in his hometown (Muradnagar, Uttar Pradesh). Car owned by the Southpaw includes Mercedes, Mini Cooper, BMW and Porsche. Famous brands with which he is associated are namely Pepsi, Intex, Ceat, Boost and more. Raina did not manage to remain a regular starter in the Indian team and was dropped from the Annual Retainership of the BCCI in 2017.
He is back in the Annual Retainership list of the BCCI, featuring in category C which was announced in March 2018.
Suresh Raina was awarded as CEAT T20 International Player of the Year Award in 2011.
From modest beginnings to being one of the finest batsmen in Indian cricket, the journey has never been easy for him. It is no small wonder to overcome barriers in life and this swashbuckling batsman has done it bravely.
— Suresh Raina?? (@ImRaina) April 7, 2019
Today, we celebrate one of the best decisions we ever made. Today, we celebrate love & friendship. Today, we celebrate us. Thank you for being with me at every step of the way! Happy anniversary, love! @_PriyankaCRaina ? pic.twitter.com/faqFW2R3ox
— Suresh Raina?? (@ImRaina) April 3, 2019
Nostalgia 2011 Best moment of our life.. Same day same place we become the world champions ?? @msdhoni @harbhajan_singh thanks for each and everyone for believing and supporting us.. love to all from us ?❤ pic.twitter.com/3QYGoVW9EM
— Suresh Raina?? (@ImRaina) April 2, 2019
— Suresh Raina?? (@ImRaina) March 18, 2019
— Suresh Raina?? (@ImRaina) March 12, 2019
— Suresh Raina?? (@ImRaina) March 9, 2019
— Suresh Raina?? (@ImRaina) March 3, 2019
— Suresh Raina?? (@ImRaina) February 26, 2019
— Suresh Raina?? (@ImRaina) February 6, 2019
My little girl, who teaches me love, compassion, and all things good in a new way everyday. Girl child is precious and irreplaceable, we all need to celebrate them not just today, but everyday. #NationalGirlChildDay pic.twitter.com/KdH8cuxDbH
— Suresh Raina?? (@ImRaina) January 24, 2019
It’s time to be the change. Super excited to hear the untold stories of #TheCourageousClass by Kenneth Cole Watches. Mark your time with your own #KennethCole masterpiece – https://t.co/Waes6n8z9G.@HeliosWatches #helioswatchstore pic.twitter.com/zdQXSB7aL8
— Suresh Raina?? (@ImRaina) January 18, 2019
Ever since the beginning of his career, he has looked to achieve something big and has been successful so far. Now is the time for him to prove his mettle. Let’s hope he gets a chance to don the blue jersey once again. Maybe for the upcoming World Cup?
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