‘You’ve lived and breathed cricket’: PM Narendra Modi pens letter of appreciation to Suresh Raina

Suresh Raina would’ve received thousands of messages from friends and well-wishers post his announcement of retirement from international cricket. On Friday, Raina took to social media to show a letter of appreciation from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who thanked the cricketer for his services to the game.

Raina posted the picture of the two-page letter and wrote that there is no “better appreciation than being loved by people of this country & country’s PM. Thank you PM for your words of appreciation & best wishes. I accept them with gratitude.”

In his letter, the Prime Minister said Raina was “too young and energetic” to retire and he is only “padding up for the next innings”. Modi then recalled his “exemplary” fielding and the spin bowling that churned out many wickets. “Generations will remember you not only as a fine batsman but also as a very useful bowler who the captain could turn to when the situation demanded. Your fielding was exemplary and inspiring. Some of the best catches in recent international cricket have your distinctive imprint. It would take days to count just the number of runs you have saved with your alertness on field”.

The PM also recalled having seen Raina play live at the Motera Stadium, Ahmedabad, during the quarter-final against Australia in the 2011 World Cup. “Your anchoring innings had a big role to play in our team’s victory. I can confidently say that most fans will miss seeing your elegant cover drive, one which I was lucky to witness live that day.”

“Suresh Raina will always be synonymous with team spirit. You played not for personal glory but for the glory of your team and the glory of India,” the letter read.

Raina announced his retirement after his friend, teammate and former India captain MS Dhoni called time on his international career. The Prime Minister also penned a letter of appreciation to Dhoni and thanked him for his contribution to cricket.

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