Exclusive – ‘The best cricketer I’ve ever met…’: Dwayne Smith lauds Suresh Raina and laments West Indies cricket’s downfall | Cricket News – Times of India


New Delhi: Former Indian cricketer… Suresh Raina Known for his explosive batting and exceptional fielding skills. Raina made his international debut in 2005 and soon established himself as a key middle-order batsman.
A left-handed dynamo, Raina has been instrumental in India’s limited-overs success, contributing to the team’s victory in the 2011 ICC ODI World Cup. Raina also became the first Indian to score centuries in all three formats of the game.

In the Indian Premier League (IPL), Raina was a stalwart for Chennai Super Kings (CSK), playing a vital role in their success. He was instrumental in CSK’s numerous IPL title victories and emerged as the tournament’s highest run-scorer in several seasons.

Apart from his on-field exploits, what impressed the most about Raina was his selflessness and always putting the team before himself. Defined by these features Dwayne Smithis a West Indian cricketing icon and Raina’s former Chennai Super Kings teammate.
Dwayne Smith

Dwayne Smith of Urban Risers Hyderabad during Legends League Cricket 2023. (ANI Photo)


In an exclusive conversation with TimesofIndia.comSmith, who played for Urban Risers Hyderabad under Raina in the 2023 Legends League Cricket (LLC) T20, asserted, “I know I have already said this many times about Suresh Raina, but “He is the best cricketer ever. He thinks about the team first, then himself and his selflessness is so perfect.”
“I’ve watched him over the years when I’ve been playing with him, even playing against him, and you see the way he goes, and it’s great to see that he’s always going to be somebody. tries to help. He’s helped a lot of people, I think you’ve heard recently. Ranko Singh Talk about it, so it’s good to see and I hope he continues, I know he will continue (to help).”
‘Being an opening batsman is like driving a car’
Opening an innings with the bat is a skill in itself. And it takes a lot to master the art of facing new deliveries swinging in every direction. Elaborating on the challenges faced by opening batsmen in the shorter format of the game, Smith said, “It’s very difficult because you have to start the engine, get the car moving and drive it. Travel or ever. “To ever put it in a position where it can continue the journey. But it’s very challenging. I’ve always loved it from the moment I got the chance to open the batting.”
West Indies

West Indies Cricketers (AP Photo)


Reasons behind West IndiesDive into ODIs
Shocks were felt in the cricketing world when two-time world champions West Indies failed to qualify for the 2023 edition of the ODI World Cup in India.
Diving deep into the root cause of this catastrophic collapse, Smith said, “Since Covid, they haven’t played much cricket, they have played about 10 games and that’s three, four years after Covid. The difference. We don’t play enough cricket. Everything is shortened, the four-day season is shortened, the 50-over is rushed and you don’t have enough time to develop a player. can watch or actually have enough games for a long time. Saying this guy could be good.”
“Right now, we’re at a stage where you’re picking people just because they’ve performed (in the past). They pick some because they think about their talent. But I understand. “That our management has a lot to do with us. Performance in cricket, and they need to have more cricket games so that we actually go there and perform against these guys from around the world,” added the 40-year-old West Indian. .
‘West Indies are far behind’
Apparently frustrated with the overall decline of West Indies cricket, Smith asked the board and its players to play a collective role to ensure their cricket’s revival. “Look at the Netherlands, Afghanistan and Scotland. They played against us and beat us. You don’t want that. I’ve been part of the West Indies team so I know what’s going on,” he said. I take on players like Virat Kohli and Steve Smith when you don’t have enough preparation. I won’t knock the board or the management all the time. I mean some players need to do their job. Together. “They need to find ways to sort themselves out. But our administration needs a lot of work. It needs a lot of work. I am very serious. We are very far behind when it comes to world cricket.” “
Expressing his love for West Indies cricket, he admitted, “I don’t want to sugar coat things. I love West Indies cricket. I’m not going to stop loving West Indies cricket. But we need our team. Something needs to be done with because we’re not marketing our team properly, and we’re not giving them enough opportunities to say they can compete in the world.”
West Indies

Jason Holder, right, with Andre Russell (AP Photo)


Expectations from T20 World Cup
The West Indies will co-host the next T20 World Cup with the USA in 2024, with 20 teams competing for the coveted trophy in the month of June.
Hoping for a positive response from the West Indies team in the cricketing extravaganza, Smith opined, “We are playing at home, and these are the conditions we are used to. Good performance. We have played T before. have performed in T20 and we have a lot of people who play T20 cricket, so hopefully most of them will be included in the World Cup squad and put in some good performances for the team. Can. World Cup.”

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