Within minutes of former Indian captain MS Dhoni announcing his retirement from international cricket on August 15, Suresh Raina announced that he was doing the same. Both Raina and Dhoni had reunited at Chennai Super Kings camp on Friday to begin preparations for the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the left-handed batsman has explained in a report why the date was chosen to retire.
In an exclusive interview to Dainik Jagran, Raina said that he knew that Dhoni would announce his retirement after reaching Chennai, so he was mentally prepared. The Indian Express had reported how at a party last year Dhoni had told one of his friends that he won’t be playing beyond the 2020 T20 World Cup but will be available for Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League.
“We had already made up our minds to retire on Saturday (August 15). Dhoni’s jersey number is 7 and mine is 3 – put it together and it makes 73. And on August 15, India completed 73 years of independence, so there couldn’t have been a better day,” Raina told the publication.
The left-handed batsman said that after they announced their retirement he and Dhoni had “hugged each other and cried”. He said they then sat with their teammates and talked about their careers.
Raina announced his retirement on August 15th via a social media post and then informed the BCCI a day later on August 16. However, Dhoni followed protocol and informed the Indian cricket board before announcing his retirement at 19:29 hours on Independence Day.
The Indian Express had reported how before taking a final decision to call it a day, Dhoni wanted to consult his franchise and spoke to former BCCI president N Srinivasan, the man behind CSK, after landing in Chennai on August 14. One of Dhoni’s close friends said he will continue his association with the franchise and will be part of the decision-making core in the future.
In an interview to The Indian Express, Srinivasan said Dhoni can play for CSK as long as he wants.
“At present, let CSK win the IPL. One of the reasons for CSK’s success under Dhoni is that he never thinks beyond the match. He never gets digressed. And we will follow the same policy now (with regards to Dhoni’s future at CSK after he hangs up his boots),” he said.