Making his debut for Rajasthan Royals in their opener clash against Punjab Kings (PBKS) in the Indian Premier League (IPL), Chetan Sakariya, opened the bowling with Mustafizur Rahman and snared his first IPL wicket in the form of Mayank Agarwal. The left-arm seamer roared with joy after taking a stunning catch and swore at Agarwal, who had to return to the pavilion for 14 off nine deliveries with two boundaries.
The Saurashtra left arm pacer has been through cut and thrust to make his way into the Indian Premier League.
Sakariya made his debut for Saurashtra in 2018-19 and was picked up Rs 1.2 crore in the IPL 2021 auction by the Rajasthan Royals. This marked his first entry into the massive premiere league. Here's a look at Chetan's personal life, challenges that he has come through.
Sakariya comes from a small town Vartej which is located on outskirts of Rajkot city in Gujarat. Wanting to be a batsman, Chetan turned towards fast bowling when he was in class XI because that helped students get a lot of attention in school.
Sakariya has risen through the ranks playing tennis-ball cricket, and much of his skill-set is self-taught. It wasn't until he was 16 that he had formal coaching of any kind. The pacer used to copy Irfan Pathan and Zaheer Khan's actions while bowling.
Sakariya first made waves locally when he impressed for Saurashtra six years ago in the Cooch Behar Trophy, where he picked up 18 wickets in six games, including 5 for 84 against Karnataka Under-19 to help his side get a first-innings lead. Due to such achievements, he earned a scholarship and got a chance to train under Glenn McGrath at the MRF Pace Foundation.
Sakariya has been the lone breadwinner for his family for the last few years, after his father has largely been forced to shut his tempo business due to ill-health. He couldn't afford his son's cricket expenses, and it wasn't until Sakariya's maternal uncle stepped in that he was able to focus fully on the game.
A lack of knowledge about workloads led to him overworking himself in trying to bowl fast. He was out of the game for nearly a year. He worked with His maternal uncle who took care of his fees and cricket expenses, in exchange for some time to help him with his wholesale stationary dealership in Bhavnagar.
Domestic cricket record
Chetan made his senior team debut during the 2018-19 Ranji Trophy season, and has so far featured in 15 first-class games, seven List A games and 16 T20s. In March 2020, he was part of Saurashtra's Ranji Trophy winning team. This helped him get noticed by the IPL talent scouts.
Entry into IPL
About his entry into the IPL, Sakariya trialled with the Mumbai Indians and the Royals. He was eventually picked up by the Royals at the February auction for Rs 1.2 crores. In 2020, he was part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore contingent in UAE as a net bowler.
But on a sad note, quiet disappointing and heartbreaking for the pacer, Sakariya lost his younger brother, who died by suicide just three weeks prior to the 2021 auction.
Sakariya bowls mainly in the mid-130s. But improving pace, he says, is a "work in progress." Sakariya has a distinct jump in his run-up.