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Suresh Raina ready to sizzle again! Cricketer credits wife Priyanka for comeback

Cricketer Suresh Raina, who’s playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for Chennai Super Kings, says that his partner’s support helped him regain his form, and that he hopes to play for India again.

cricket Updated: Mar 28, 2018 15:31 IST
Henna Rakheja
Henna Rakheja
Hindustan Times
Cricket,India,Suresh Raina
Cricketer Suresh Raina will play in the IPL for Chennai Super Kings.

Once out of the game, it isn’t easy to make a comeback, but cricketer Suresh Raina isn’t called an “aggressive” middle-order leftie for no reason. He has clawed his way back to form, played for the tri-nation Nidahas Trophy in Sri Lanka recently, and is now all set to represent Chennai Super Kings at the Indian Premier League — his team plays the first IPL match on April 7. Raina has lived by that adage: where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Back with a bang, and eager to prove himself worthy of another national cap, Raina credits his wife, Priyanka Chaudhary, with giving him boundless support just when he needed it. “As a cricketer, if you make a comeback, it means you’re on the right path,” he says. “And your loved ones always support you [on this journey]. Priyanka was motivating me all the time. She’s my moral support; more than wife, she’s my friend.”

‘Criticism only comes when you’re a big player, and are important. If someone criticises you, it means they expect you to do better. If you think that in a positive way, you get better, and move on. It’s criticism that motivated me’ — Suresh Raina, cricketer

The cricketer says that he “worked really hard for things to fall in place”, and that his wife ensured, among other things, that he got the right nutrition to optimise his on-field fitness. Raina even sacrificed socialising within the family, because, he explains with a laugh, “in India, when we socialise, it’s difficult to say no to ghar ka desi ghee wala khana (home-cooked food rich in clarified butter), especially when offered by your mom or father-in-law!”

The good times today remind Raina of the trying times, when he chose not to internalise the negativity around him. “Criticism only comes when you’re a big player, and are important. If someone criticises you, it means they expect you to do better. If you think that in a positive way, you get better, and move on. It’s criticism that motivated me,” says Raina, who admires Priyanka’s efforts to help women and child as part of the Gracia Raina Foundation, and looks to her for the right advice. The foundation has been named after their little daughter, Gracia, who will turn two in May this year.

Raina says about his wife, “When someone knows you better than you, then you can always get the right advice. On top of that, you stay with the person for 24 hours a day. So, you can learn, engage and understand the person in [every] situation.”

They’re a very close-knit family of three. Raina says, “Both of us, we travel a lot, and we know what each one of us wants. And both of us know what Gracia wants. When my daughter comes around and calls me ‘Papa’, it means the world to me. Touch wood, God has been really kind. I hardly spent time with my [parents]. I was very young when I went to boarding school. So I don’t want to miss out on anything with my wife and daughter. I want to give them back, spend time with them, do what my wife likes. We need to enjoy life, because don’t know what happens tomorrow.”

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First Published: Mar 28, 2018 15:30 IST