Indian former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and batsman Suresh Raina made a sudden announcement to retire from international cricket on Saturday. While Dhoni announced his retirement at “1929 hrs”, Raina joined his captain in calling time on his India career merely an hour later.
Now, in a conversation with Indian newspaper Dainik Jagran, Raina revealed the reason behind choosing the August 15-date for their retirements, and also revealed how MS Dhoni reacted post the announcement.
“We had already made up our minds to retire on Saturday (August 15). Dhoni’s jersey number is 7 and mine is 3 – put it together and it makes 73. And on August 15, India completed 73 years of independence, so there couldn’t have been a better day,” Raina told Dainik Jagran.
“Dhoni began his career on 23 December, 2004 against Bangladesh in Chittagong (now Chattogram), while I made my debut on 30 July, 2005 against Sri Lanka in 2005. Both of us almost began together in international cricket, remained together at CSK, and so we now retired together and will continue to play in IPL together.”
Raina further revealed that he knew Dhoni would retire after reaching Chennai. He said that both “hugged and cried a lot” after announcing their retirements, and partied with fellow CSK teammates for the night.
“I knew Dhoni would announce his retirement upon reaching Chennai, so I was ready. I, Piyush Chawla, Deepak Chahar and Karn Sharma reached Ranchi on 14th with the chartered plane, and picked up Mahi bhai and Monu Singh,” said Raina.
“After announcing our retirement, we hugged and cried a lot. I, Piyush, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav and Karn sat together after that, talked about our careers and our relationship. We partied during the night.”
Dhoni and Raina will be seen in action together in the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League, which will begin on September 19 in the United Arab Emirates.