A flamboyant left-handed batsman, one of India's most gifted fielders and a part-time right-arm bowler, Suresh Raina was all this and more! He brought with him a liveliness to the field and though he doesn't have huge numbers to his name, his contributions to the team have always shone out! Considered to be MS Dhoni's right-hand man at Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Raina "followed" his captain MSD in announcing his retirement from international cricket, yesterday! Though there had been a lot of talk of MS Dhoni's retirement, in his usual style, he simply took to his Instagram page to announce it, without any fanfare on August 15th! Within just a few minutes of this shocking announcement, came Suresh Raina's own retirement message and his statement touched the hearts of all his fans!

A day after his retirement message, Suresh Raina has now released a statement confirming his retirement and the UP lad has bared his heart in an emotional and heart-touching letter! His statement reads, "With a lot of mixed feelings I’m able to make this announcement of my retirement. From a very young age, I as a small boy had literally lived Cricket on every street, gali and nukkad of my small town before making it to the Indian team. All I have known is cricket, all I have done is cricket & it runs through my veins. There hasn’t been a single day without counting my blessings & without acknowledging everything I have received from god & my people who showered nothing but love on me. All I strived for was to value those blessings & give my everything in return to my game, to my country & everyone who has been a part of this journey. I had multiple surgeries, set backs & moments when I felt that this is it but I didn’t stop or settle for anything which was not justified." 

The statement continued, "It's been an incredible ride and it would not have been possible without everyone who supported me during my ups and downs. This journey could not have been possible without the unflinching support and sacrifices of my parents, my loving wife Priyanka, my children Gracia and Rio, my brothers, my sister and all members of our family. This is all you. My Coaches who always showed me the right direction, my Physicians for helping me heal, my trainers for helping me perform at the highest level. My boys in BLUE, nothing would have been possible without the support of the wonderful India Team in blue. I had the pleasure of playing with the best of the very best players and all of them played for Team India. I feel lucky to have played under the captaincy of some of the best minds in the game Rahul Bhai, Anil Bhai, Sachin Paaji, Chiku and especially with @mahi7781 for guiding me as a friend and mentor. Thank you @indiancricketteam and @upcacricket for the all the support and making the dreams of a boy from UP wanting to play for team India come true. And lastly my fans, I am what I am because of the love and adulation that you have showered upon me thru the years. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for everyone who supported me in playing International Cricket at the highest level. I’ll always be filled with nothing but gratitude. Forever, Team India. Jai Hind."

Having debuted as an 18-year-old, Raina's 15-year career included playing in 2 World Cups and being a part of the 2011 World Cup winning team! His middle order partnerships with MS Dhoni have been vital for Team India on a number of occasions and he is also the first Indian batsman to score a century in all three formats - Tests, ODIs and T20Is! You shall be missed in the Indian team Raina!