Indian cricketer Suresh Raina has announced his retirement from all formats of cricket, which effectively means he will no longer play in the Indian Premier League (IPL), as the 35-year-old had already ended his international cricket on August 15, 2020, hours after Mahendra Singh Dhoni decided to call it a day.
Reports suggest that Raina's decision to retire "from all formats of cricket" is a move to open avenues for him to play in tournaments such as the Road Safety Series and the mushrooming overseas T20 leagues.
Raina, who played 13 seasons of the IPL, scored more than 5,000 runs in the lucrative league while winning four titles with Chennai Super Kings.
In a tweet on Tuesday, Raina wrote, "It has been an absolute honour to represent my country & state UP. I would like to announce my retirement from all formats of cricket. I would like to thank @BCCI, @UPCACricket, @ChennaiIPL, @ShuklaRajiv sir & all my fans for their support and unwavering faith in my abilities."
A report in ESPNcricinfo on Tuesday said Raina's decision will free him "to play tournaments like the Road Safety Series, for which he has already been confirmed, as well as overseas T20 leagues".
"I want to continue playing cricket for two or three years. There are some exciting youngsters who are coming through the ranks of Uttar Pradesh cricket. I have already taken my No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association (UPCA). I have informed BCCI secretary Jay Shah and vice-president Rajiv Shukla about my decision. I will play in the Road Safety Series. T20 franchises from South Africa, Sri Lanka and UAE have contacted me but I am yet to take any decision," Raina was quoted as saying by Dainik Jagran.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) too wished Raina best of luck and re-lived his historic innings of the 2010 T20 World Cup.
"He is India's only centurion in ICC Men's @T20WorldCup history. Relive the brilliant knock from the 2010 edition," tweeted ICC with a video of his exploits in 2010.
Raina represent CSK for 11 seasons, between 2008 and 2021, and won the title with the second-most successful IPL side four times -- 2010, 2011, 2018 and 2021. He is still their highest run-grosser with 4,687 runs from 176 games.
Raina has not played domestic cricket since 2018. Raina's name figured in the IPL mega auction ahead of the 2022 season after he was released by CSK, but he went unsold.
Raina made his international debut in 2005 and played 226 ODIs, 78 T20Is and 18 Tests, scoring more than 8,000 runs across the three formats, besides being a part of the squad that won the 2011 World Cup in India.
(With inputs from IANS)