Veteran Indian middle-order batsman Suresh Raina left the Indian Premier League 2022 mega auction empty-handed as he was unsold in the two-day event which concluded on Sunday, February 13, at the Hotel ITC Gardenia in Bengaluru.
Former Chennai Super Kings batsman Suresh Raina set his base price for the auction at Rs 2 crore but, unfortunately, no teams showed interest in the Indian Premier League veteran batsman, including his then team the Super Kings who refused to bring back Chinna Thala to the team, suggesting the end of an era.
The Super Kings paid tribute to the once league's highest run-scorer as well as the most capped player prior to the IPL 2020. "Super Thanks for all the Yellove memories," the Super Kings thanked their former vice-captain on Twitter. "Chinna Thala! #SuperkingForever."
Raina joined the team in the IPL 2008 auction. He recorded 421 runs in the same season, which he followed up with 434 runs the next year. In 2010, Chinna Talla recorded 520 runs and recorded 438 runs, helping the MS Dhoni-led side lift the trophy. In 2012, the left-handed batsman produces 441 runs., then he went on to score 548 runs in 2013, 523 runs in 2014, and 374 runs in 2015.
The 35-year-old became the captain of the Gujarat Lions in the 2016 and 2017 seasons. He helped the Super Kings into a title in 2018 where he scored 445 runs. Raina then finished with 383 runs in the 2019 season as he flew to the United Arab Emirates for the pandemic-ridden IPL 2020. However, Raina withdrew after several members of the Super Kings tested positive for COVID-19.
The former Uttar Pradesh player was recruited back to the team again in 2021. However, he managed to record only 160 runs in 12 matches before being ruled out due to an injury in his knee. In total, Raina has 4687 runs for the team. Raina is the team's highest run-scorer in the IPL. He led the Super Kings to two wins in six matches as a captain.
CSK under fire on Twitter
Following the news that the Super Kings refused to buy Raina again this year, both fans and players took to Twitter to let their sadness be known. It is understood that they were disappointed because the decision to forgo Raina was taken despite the team having a total of Rs 2.95 crore left before finalising the squad.
"Sad not to see a single bid for Mr IPL @ImRaina in the first round.. @IPL #AuctionDay #IPLMegaAuction2022," said Harbhajan Singh.
"Sad that not a single team picked Mr. IPL Suresh Raina who has had an extraordinary performance in most IPL tournaments," Wrote Aditya Raj Kaul. "Someone who has scored 400 runs in most IPLs till now. Many today are heartbroken to see him go unsold."
Meanwhile, an old video of Raina declaring that he would not play in the IPL again if MS Dhoni retires has resurfaced and went viral on social media.
“If Dhoni bhaai doesn’t play next season, I too won’t play," Raina told News 24 Sports. "We’ve been playing since 2008… if we win this year then I’ll convince him to play next year too…“I’ll try my best. If he will not play, then I don’t think I will play for any IPL team.”