Suresh Raina, Team India's go-to standby captain in the absence of Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Virat Kohli, was “rested” for the tour of Zimbabwe after tainted former IPL chief Lalit Modi alleged he had accepted favours from a real estate tycoon, according to a report by Indian Express on Saturday.
Ajinkya Rahane, the stand-in captain for India's tour of Zimbabwe last month, was not the first choice pick of selectors, who had originally picked Suresh Raina.
But Raina was “rested” after a top BCCI official stepped in, Express reported . The top brass of BCCI weren’t keen on Raina after he was named in Modi’s email to ICC , which alleged that Raina, along with Ravindra Jadeja and Dwayne Bravo, had accepted favours from an Indian real estate tycoon.
The selectors held a meeting on June 29 to pick the team for Zimbabwe, two days after Modi’s email to ICC CEO David Richardson became public.
In the post-selection media interaction, BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur was questioned about Raina and why the Indian board had never investigated him although his name kept popping up time and again.
Thakur responded by saying, “These three are international players, and the ICC has to conduct an enquiry. So far, ICC has not come out with a report. There is no information from the ICC as of now. In a way, this is clean chit.”
In a statement on the allegations made by Modi, Raina had said, “I would like to make my fans around the world aware, and clear the air that I have always played the game in the right spirit and with utmost integrity. I have never been involved in any wrongdoing and all allegations against me are false. Playing cricket is my passion, for whichever team I have represented. I am also figuring out my legal rights to take the right steps ahead in this matter.”
In 2010, it was reported that Raina was seen with a woman allegedly linked to bookies during the tour of Sri Lanka that year. The BCCI had dismissed that report.