Suresh Raina, who has not played competitive cricket since February 2017, revealed on Saturday that his daughter’s illness was the reason behind his absence from the cricket field over the last few months.
Talking to the Indian Express, the 30-year old said, “People just need a reason to talk, just for the heck of it. I have to take my daughter to hospital, I have to do the work at home and I can’t see how people can criticise me for that?”
The last couple of months have not been smooth for Suresh Raina. The 30-year old was accused of losing his focus and the Board Of Control For Cricket In India decided to drop him from the annual contract list. A former Uttar Pradesh coach even went on to call him a ‘reluctant cricketer’, but Raina rubbished those claims.
“I had informed my state selectors and BCCI. I had to pull out after playing few Ranji games and Duleep [Trophy]. If I don’t take care of my young daughter or get some work done at home, who will? It was a testing couple of months, and I had to miss out on cricket but circumstances were such – my health and my daughter’s. If that leads to criticism, then what can I say?”, he added.
Raina also revealed that he hasn’t been in the best of health over the past few months.
“I was out with [a] viral and illness, and couldn’t train much. It all had an effect but I am fully recovered now and started training.” explained the left-hander.
When it came to the matter of BCCI not offering him a contract, Raina did not seem quite sure of the reason. Talking about the exclusion, he said, “As far as BCCI contracts [are concerned], my understanding is that if in the last six months you had played for India, you would at least be slotted in the C group. And I had played in a T20 game,” he explained. “So I don’t know what happened. I don’t know whether they have changed their rules. Anyway my focus is to get back to playing for India.”
Raina will be back in action when he will lead the Gujarat Lions in the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League. The left-hander is currently the second highest run-getter in the history of the tournament and it will be a perfect oppurtunity for him to prove his critics wrong.
“My attitude will remain the same,” he said. “I will try to dominate with my bat, and spread positive vibes while on the field. I always play for the team and I am not now suddenly going to start playing for myself.”
Raina has not featured for India in ODIs since October 2015 while he has not been part of the Test side since January 2015. In that period, he played some matches for Uttar Pradesh in the Ranji Trophy. In the Twenty20 Internationals against England, he managed scores of 34,7 and 63.