Suresh Raina, the 33-year-old former Indian cricketer, has been making headlines once again with his outstanding performance in the Kannada Chalanachitra Cup 2023. The left-handed batsman and occasional off-spin bowler played for Ganga Warriors in the tournament and helped his team win the final match against Vijayanagar Patriots. Raina’s all-round performance in the match earned him the Man of the Match award and the admiration of fans all over the world.
A well-known name in the cricketing world, Suresh Raina has had a long and successful career, representing India in over 200 international matches. However, in August 2020, he announced his retirement from international cricket, much to the surprise of his fans and teammates. Despite this, Raina continued to play in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for Chennai Super Kings (CSK), the team he had been associated with since the inception of the tournament.
But in 2021, Raina’s performance in the IPL was not up to his usual standards, and he was released by CSK ahead of the 2022 auction. To his surprise, Raina went unsold in the auction, a blow to his ego and his aspirations of continuing to play at the highest level. In September 2022, Raina announced his retirement from all forms of cricket, including the IPL.
However, retirement from international and domestic cricket did not mean the end of Raina’s cricketing career. He participated in the Road Safety World Series, a T20 tournament involving retired international cricketers, where he played for the India Legends team. And now, in the Kannada Chalanachitra Cup 2023, he has once again shown that he is still a force to be reckoned with on the cricket field.
The KCC 2023 was a 6-team T10 tournament held at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. Along with Raina, several other renowned cricketers such as Chris Gayle, Herschelle Gibbs, Brian Lara, Tilakaratne Dilshan, and Subramaniam Badrinath participated in the tournament. However, it was Raina who stole the show with his outstanding performance in the final match.
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Batting first, the Vijayanagar Patriots set a target of 81 runs for Ganga Warriors. Raina, who came in to bat at number three, played a blistering innings of 54 runs off just 29 balls and led his team to a comfortable victory. He also contributed with the ball, picking up two wickets in the match. However, it was his caught-and-bowled in the game that caught the attention of fans and pundits alike.
During the match, Raina bowled a wicket-to-wicket delivery, which the Patriots’ batsman failed to pick up properly and played towards the non-striker’s end. Raina, who was quick to react, dived to his right and took a stunning catch, sending the fans into raptures. The video of the catch went viral on social media, with fans praising Raina’s athleticism and reflexes.
After the match, Raina expressed his gratitude to Kichcha Sudeep, the organizer of the tournament, via Instagram. He wrote, “Had a great time playing at Chinnaswamy Stadium again, brings back so many memories. Thank you #KCC @Kichchasudeepa bhai, it was superbly organized and looking forward to the next season.”