Suresh Raina recalls youth fight, travel to international cricket

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Military officer Trilokchand Raina’s mastery of bomb-making in an ammunition factory earned him only a meager salary of ten thousand rupees a month. Not enough to give wings to his son Suresh’s cricket dreams. But more than two decades after those days of struggle, hard work, determination and happiness, Raina recently ended his professional career as an international cricketer with great success.

Around the time when he dreamed of making a career playing cricket, fees in Delhi sports academies would range from Rs 5000 to Rs 8000 per month.

And the Raina family, made up of eight members, found themselves in a difficult situation until they were introduced to Guru Gobind Singh Sports College in Lucknow.

The rest, as they say, is history.

“Dad was in the army, my older brother is also in the army. Dad used to make bombs in an ammunition factory. He was a master at that,” Raina said of his father in Neelesh Misra’s The Slow Interview.

“He took care of the families of the soldiers who had died. It was a very emotional job. It was difficult to make sure that the money orders went and that they received all the government benefits they were eligible for,” said Raina, nicknamed Sonu. .

In search of a safe environment for his family, Trilokchand left everything behind in Rainawari in Jammu and Kashmir after the exodus of Kashmir Pandit in the 1990s.

But after settling in UP’s Muradnagar, life was far from easy for the Raina family.

“It always felt his life principle was: if you live – live for others. If you only live for yourself – that’s not life.”

‘I used to play and then there was no money. Daddy made ten thousand rupees. We were five brothers and a sister. ‘

“Then I came to trial at Guru Gobind Singh Sports College in Lucknow in 1998. We couldn’t save 10,000 at the time,” he said.

“The fee was Rs 5000 for a year so Dad said he could afford it. I didn’t want anything, I said let me play and study.”

Raina says he is always wary of saying anything that would remind his father of the Kashmir tragedy.

“There are certain things my father doesn’t want to remember …
So Dad thought it would be better to move his family to a safe place, which was one of the hardest decisions Dad made. ‘

‘He had a house there and his brothers. It was a wise decision, he had four sons and then I was born. ‘

And although he had been to Kashmir for the past few years, Raina did not tell his family, especially his father.

“I’ve been to the LOC two to three times. I’ve been with Mahi bhai, we have quite a few friends who are commandos.”

So if there were shows I wouldn’t tell him. I was scared. Afraid he’d relive it in his head. ‘

Raina turned to cricket, recalling an advice Sachin Tendulkar and MS Dhoni had given them when they started preparing for the 2011 World Cup – not to share national team tactics with their IPL teammates from abroad.

“Dhoni started this, Sachin Tendulkar also said: don’t reveal anything to anyone, because the World Cup is coming.”

“This started in 2008-09. In 2008 we won the tri-nation series in Australia. In 2009 we won in New Zealand. In 2010 we won in Sri Lanka. And then the World Cup.”

He praised the beating of the great Rahul Dravid and said his contribution to Indian cricket is second to none.

Rahul Dravid contributed a lot to the winning series of Indian cricket from 2008 to 2011. He was a very strong leader and he was very disciplined.

“He’s doing his job and doesn’t care about the fruit, but I do feel like the fruit the Indian team got was because of his hard work. That’s a very good definition of him.”

As for his mentor Dhoni, Raina said the newly retired two-time World Cup-winning captain was distinguished by his honesty and unselfish attitude.

“He’s a really great captain. And he’s a really good friend. And what he’s accomplished in the game, I think he’s the number one captain in the world. He’s also the best person in the world. is sober., “said Raina.

“His actions are good. I have spent millions of days with him, traveling, playing, he is very honest with his team. His honesty is reflected in his game. When he plays for the country he always has his 10 men ahead and he stays behind. He’s selfless. “

Raina followed Dhoni with international retirement, and both decided to quit the same day.

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Raina added, “Dhoni made sure the players were not distracted by all the fame and money. He sat with the team, discussed our achievements, told us how to stay humble, he became a big brand.

“But he showed us how to do our job and perform. I could see from his eyes that it was two runs.”

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