Former India international Suresh Raina is set to lead his state-side Uttar Pradesh in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021. The Indian domestic T20 tournament usually takes place in the month of November, but was postponed to January 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
World Cup winner Suresh Raina had previously led Uttar Pradesh to the trophy in the 2015-16 edition of the Syed Mushtaq Ali tournament.
The 34-year-old announced his retirement from international cricket in August this year. However, he still seems keen to perform for his state-side and was recently seen putting in the hard yards in training.
Suresh Raina's long absence from the game
The Chennai Super Kings star wasn't part of the much-awaited 2020 version of the IPL. Suresh Raina travelled to the UAE with CSK's contingent, however, he returned to India after 13 individuals in CSK's touring team tested positive for COVID-19. The MS Dhoni-led team certainly felt Raina's absence as they failed to make the playoffs.
Suresh Raina last played a competitive game in 2019, which was the IPL final. After missing out on the recent edition of the IPL, the left-hander made it clear that he would play the 2021 edition of the tournament.
The Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021 will be played from January 10-31. The matches will be played across six venues.
It remains to be seen whether Suresh Raina will be retained by CSK going in the next IPL season. The chances of CSK retaining him could depend on his performances in the Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy.
Meanwhile, the former India international is helping talented players from Jammu & Kashmir. Raina travelled to the Union Territory a month ago and met with administrators there.Published 26 Dec 2020, 17:47 IST