On August 15, India’s Independence Day, Suresh Raina joined MS Dhoni in announcing his retirement from international cricket. The contribution of both these cricket legends have been lauded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a letter to them.
In two separate letters addressed to each of them, the Prime Minister called both the players an embodiment of ‘New India Spirit’.
In his letter to Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the Prime Minister wrote, “Where we come from does not matter as long as we know where we are headed,” the prime minister said in his letter. “This is the spirit that you have exuded and inspired many youngsters with….Rising from humble beginnings in a small town, you burst onto the national scene, made a name for yourself and most importantly, made India proud.”
The letter also said, Dhoni’s rise and conduct “gives strength and inspiration to crores of youngsters who like you haven’t been to cushy schools or colleges, neither do they belong to illustrious families but they have the talent to distinguish themselves at the highest level…This generation does not lose their nerve in decisive situations.”
Calling him one of the greatest captains and one of the best wicketkeepers the game has seen, the letter said: “Your dependability in tough situations and your style of finishing matches, particularly the 2011 World Cup final will forever be etched in the public memory for generations. ”
Dhoni responded to the Prime Minister’s compliments on Twitter by saying: “An Artist, Soldier and Sportsperson what they crave for is appreciation, that their hard work and sacrifice is getting noticed and appreciated by everyone.”
In another letter addressed to Suresh Raina, the Prime Minister also lauded the cricketer’s contribution to the game .
He and said that Suresh Raina will always be synonymous with team spirit. Raina’s retirement announcement had come minutes after Dhoni announced his retirement on August 15, 2020.
“You have lived and breathed cricket….Generations will remember you not only as a fine batsman but also as a very useful bowler,” said PM Modi in the letter.
PM Modi lauded Raina’s spirit and said that sportspersons are not only recognised for their on-field conduct but also their off-field conduct.
“Your fighting spirit can motivate many youngsters,” he said, and applauded Raina’s resilience at bouncing back every time after every setback.
“Suresh Raina will always be synonymous with team spirit. You played not for personal glory but for the glory of your team and the glory of India,” the letter said.
Raina thanked the Prime Minister for his kind words. In a post on Twitter, Raina said, “When we play, we give our blood and sweat for the nation. No better appreciation than being loved by the people of this country and even more by the country’s PM. Thank you Narendra Modi ji for your words of appreciation and best wishes. I accept them with gratitude. Jai Hind!”
(With inputs from PTI)