After withdrawing from the thirteenth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) citing personal reasons, former India batsman Suresh Raina is all set to return to competitive cricket next month. The left-hander is gearing up to represent the Uttar Pradesh side in the much-awaited Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, scheduled to start in January 2021.
Earlier this year, Raina had stunned everyone by announcing his retirement from international cricket. Along with former India skipper and his CSK pal MS Dhoni, Raina had drawn curtains on a career spanning over a decade.
After bidding adieu to international cricket, Raina was all set to don the Chennai Super Kings jersey in the UAE before he opted to withdraw from the tournament due to 'personal reasons'. CSK, in Raina's absence, had an abysmal campaign this year. For the first time in the history of the IPL, the Chennai-based outfit failed to book playoffs berth, finishing seventh in the points table.
After staying away from the game for more than a year, Raina has been training ahead of his return. Raina has not played a competitive game since the final of IPL 2019 in May last year. He may have retired from international cricket but the 2011 World Cup-winning cricketer will continue to play domestic cricket for Uttar Pradesh.
"All set for the camp, warming up for the upcoming season among the lions of @UPCACricket," wrote Raina along with sharing training pictures. Raina, last week, had reportedly also confirmed his participation in next year's IPL.
Meanwhile, the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, initially scheduled to start in November, was delayed in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic. After rescheduling, the tournament will get underway in January and will be played across six states