A regular in the Indian ODI Cricket Team and an integral member of three-time IPL Champions Chennai Super Kings, Suresh Raina gets drawn to food and hates turbulence. By Sumeet Keswani
1. Favourite cricketing venues in the world?
There are a lot of grounds that have good pitches to play on, but my favourite would be Chepauk in Chennai, Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, Lord’s in London, Sydney Cricket Ground [in Australia] and the one in Auckland, New Zealand [Eden Park].
2. Do you explore destinations on cricket tours?
When we go for long tours, we manage to get a little time out from our itinerary to explore the cities. But we hardly get time to be adventurous, as the matches are usually few days apart; we always cherish the time we get.
3. Most memorable personal holiday?
I love visiting Amsterdam—it’s like a second home. I think it was last year that all of us—Priyanka, Gracia, and I—were there, and we had loads of fun.
4. Favourite travel companion?
It has to be Priyanka, without any doubt. She’s quite the explorer! And of course, my little one, Gracia. And my headphones!
5. Your worst travel nightmare?
Turbulence, without a doubt.
6. How hard is it to escape the spotlight while travelling?
The energy that the fans have is so humbling and motivating. I have been fortunate enough to be loved by a crazy bunch of people… I don’t mind getting clicked with fans—they’re so gracious and polite.
7. Three destinations on your bucket list?
Cuba, Japan, and Brazil.
8. Five things you don’t travel without?
Noise-reduction headphones, hair wax, shades, iPad, and beard trimmer.
9. What do you miss most about India while you’re away?
Food. I think the food we have in India is tough to compete with.
10. How do you feel about sharing your life on social media?
I share bits and pieces of my life on social media, but there’s a side of me I keep only for the people who know me closely.
11. What does your typical holiday itinerary look like?
I like the quietness of my holidays. Simply lounging, engaging in casual conversations with my people, [and] eating good food really help me get in my holiday mood.
12. What is the first thing you look for while checking into a hotel?
If the bed has been properly done for me to take a dive into.
13. What drives you to a destination?
It definitely has to be food. I am an experimental person, and the thing that attracts me to a particular destination is the kind of cuisine the country offers.
14. Favourite five hotels in the world?
Shangri-la in Paris, Astarte Suites in Santorini, Hacienda Na Xamena in Ibiza, Soneva Jani in Maldives, and Hotel Danieli in Venice.
15. Any bizarre airport experiences?
I’m sure this has happened to all of us at some point in time. Gracia had just been born, and I was travelling to meet her and Priyanka. And my mother had packed in several jars of ghee for Priyanka to use during her postpartum recovery phase. I was stopped at the Amsterdam airport, and it was hard to explain what that ghee was all about!
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