Suresh Raina, who followed his mentor MS Dhoni into international retirement, on Sunday sounded convinced about his decision that shocked some and surprised a few, saying he never "settled for anything without justification".
One of India's most prolific white-ball players in the last decade and a half, Raina said cricket runs through his veins.
"From a very young age, I as a small boy had literally lived cricket on every street, gali and nukkad (lane and corner) of my small town before making it to the Indian team," Raina said in a statement.
— Suresh Raina🇮🇳 (@ImRaina) August 16, 2020
"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." Raina, who played 226 ODIs, 78 T20s and 18 Tests, said he never let injuries dictate his fate. "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, setbacks & moments when I felt that this is it but I didn't stop or settle for anything which was not justified." Raina thanked his family, coaches, physicians, trainers, teammates and his fans for the love and support he received from them.
"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."
Raina was part of the team that won the 2011 World Cup at home under the stewardship of his favourite captain, Dhoni.
"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."
"Forever, Team India. Jai Hind," he signed off.
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