Indian batsman Suresh Raina joined the Hockey India League (HIL) franchise team, Uttar Pradesh Wizards, as its co-owner.
The announcement of his association was made by Abhijit Sarkar of Uttar Pradesh Wizards in an event held at Sahara Shaher, in the presence of state cricket captain Raina.
Born in Ghaziabad, Raina has represented Uttar Pradesh at all levels in cricket.
Speaking on the announcement of the association with Uttar Pradesh Wizards, Raina said, “It is a memorable day for me because today I am immensely proud to be associated with the national sport of our country, hockey, by joining UP Wizards. On this occasion, I would also like to take the opportunity of congratulating the Indian hockey team for bringing laurels to our nation by winning gold in the Asian games after a span of sixteen years and qualifying directly to the Olympics.
“Uttar Pradesh is a land of world class hockey gems like Major Dhyan Chand, K.D. Singh Babu and many more to follow and since my sports college days in Lucknow, I have a lot of friends who are hockey players and this further boosts up my pleasure of my association with hockey. I will make all possible endeavours and bring all sorts of support required for uplifting the game of hockey in the region.”
Speaking on the occasion, Sarkar of Uttar Pradesh Wizards said, “Hockey is our national game and we are proud owner of UP Wizards. We are sure that association of Mr.Suresh Raina will make hockey more popular in the state and will attract more fan following for this sport. We will achieve greater laurels and success in the sport of hockey in the coming years and we are committed to the development of sports at all levels in the country.”
Speaking on the announcement, HIL CEO Elena Norman said, “Hockey India League welcomes Suresh Raina as the co-owner of Uttar Pradesh Wizards. It’s an honour to see cricket legends coming forward to support world’s only Hockey League and we are confident that the 3rd edition of Hero Hockey India League will take the excitement and expectations a notch higher, not only through the high adrenaline games but even the kind of association that it is garnering.”
Recently, Team India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni also got associated with the Ranchi franchise team of HIL as its co-owner.