Suresh Raina © AFP
Suresh Raina © AFP

Suresh Raina, India’s middle-order batsman, was not a part of the squad that toured Zimbabwe to play limited-overs matches, which, according to a report in The Indian Express, was due to an email about him by Lalit Modi to the International Cricket Council (ICC). That tour had a second-string side playing the matches, with Ajinkya Rahane chosen as the captain, but Raina, the report says, was chosen ahead of him to lead the team to the country. The problem occurred when Raina, alongside allrounder Ravindra Jadeja and West Indian Dwayne Bravo, were named in Modi’s email as having accepted favours from a real estate tycoon.

A top BCCI official, the report mentioned, had prevented Raina’s inclusion in that squad to Zimbabwe.

The email by Modi became public a couple of days before the squad for the tour was selected in the last week of June, but ICC secretary Anurag Thakur had indicated then that the communication hadn’t been given weightage because the ICC had not come out with any opinion on it: “These three are international players, and the ICC has to conduct an enquiry. So far, ICC has not come out with a report. There is no information from the ICC as of now. In a way, this is clean chit.” READ: Suresh Raina: I have always played the game in right spirit

Raina had dismissed the suspicions on him via a statement: “I would like to make my fans around the world aware, and clear the air that I have always played the game in the right spirit and with utmost integrity. I have never been involved in any wrongdoing and all allegations against me are false. Playing cricket is my passion, for whichever team I have represented. I am also figuring out my legal rights to take the right steps ahead in this matter.” READ: BCCI gives clean-chit to Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja and Dwayne Bravo

The controversial email came to light when Modi used Twitter to enclose the mail he claimed to have written to the ICC CEO Dave Richardson two years ago. It said, “Three players, Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo and Suresh Raina, are in close contact with real estate tycoon Baba Diwan of HDIL. Reliable sources have informed me that he has paid in cash and kind (flats) to the above three in tune of Rs 20 crore each.” That the ICC had accepted that the email was received was confirmed by a report by The Times of India on June 29. READ: ICC drops charges against Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo

“The ICC confirms that Mr Modi’s confidential email, which was received in June 2013, and which has recently been published on Twitter, was provided to the ACSU at the time. The ACSU handled the information in accordance with its standard operating procedures, which included sharing it with BCCI’s anti-corruption unit,” an ICC spokesperson had been quoted by the newspaper. READ: Aditya Verma asks ICC to clarify Lalit Modi’s claims of corruption by CSK trio

India played three One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and two Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is) in Zimbabwe, winning all the games, including a tight one, by five runs, in the opening ODI at Harare. Raina’s last India assignment was against Bangladesh in Mirpur, the three-match ODI series which India lost 2-1.