The 16th season of IPL ended on a high note with Chennai Super Kings lifting the trophy for the fifth time. Though there were several performers who lit the stage during IPL, there are a few who stood out with their inspirational stories of success. Here, we put spotlight on a few of them
Young prodigy Yashasvi Jaiswal came to Mumbai with an aim of ruling the cricketing world like Sachin Tendulkar in 2011. Since childhood, Yashasvi tried to copy Sachin Tendulkar’s batting style. His family members teased him by saying he can never play like the Master Blaster. Yashasvi was firm on his decision and that’s why his parents decided to send him to his uncle in Mumbai. Yashasvi’s father runs a paint shop.
After coming to Mumbai in 2011, Yashasvi had sold pani puri to fulfil his basic needs. In 2013, he met Jwala Singh (cricket coach), who gave the right direction to his career.
Yashasvi, who was born in Bhadohi (Uttar Pradesh), is selected in the reserves of the Indian Test Team for the upcoming World Test Championship final. He aims to represent India at one stage.
After gaining limelight, thanks to his heroics in the recently concluded IPL, every Indian cricket fan has started talking about Yashasvi.
Born in Chinnappampatti, a village near Salem district in Tamil Nadu, T Natarajan had a dreamy story in 2020 when he made his debut in international cricket. He went from becoming the best yorker bowler in the IPL to being selected for Australia tour.
Not too long ago before being picked up by Punjab in 2017 IPL, Natarajan’s family was struggling. He lived in a small one storey house with a big family. His father was a weaver working on a powerloom, and his mother ran a fast-food stall to feed their five children.
In the recently concluded IPL, he got a few opportunities to showcase his talent. However, keeping the World Cup in October in mind, all are expecting the bowler to shine at the international stage once again.
During a match against defending champions Gujarat Titans, 25-year-old left-hand batsman Rinku Singh did something unexpected. When KKR needed 28 runs of five balls, he smashed five sixes which grabs everyone’s attention. Nevertheless, his team failed to qualify for playoffs.
Aligarh-born Rinku, hails from a working-class family and has four siblings. His father, Khanchandra is a cylinder delivery man, while his mother, Bina Devi, is a housewife. For many years, Rinku and his family lived in a two-room quarter in the stockyard provided by the cylinder company. Back then, Rinku’s brother worked as a sweeper at a coaching centre. When the same job was offered to Rinku, he declined and asserted that cricket would take him places. Then came a turning point when during a tournament Rinku won a bike, which he gave to his father. That very moment Rinku’s father understood his passion for sports. Rinku, thus, received the biggest support of his life — his father.
Kajal Kumari — Carrom
Though we are living in the 21st century, there are still some rural areas in our country where women are forced to follow the tradition of wearing headscarves. They are not allowed to pursue careers in their favourite fields or even travel to other cities for jobs. In such a scenario, someone choosing sports as a career, that too carrom, seems impossible, doesn’t it? But, Kajal Kumari broke the societal shackles at the age of 18.
Born in Chanpatia, Bihar, it was in 2016, when Kajal decided to build a career in carrom. Kajal won the Senior National Carrom Championship, held in Mumbai in March. Today, six years, Kajal is a top ranked carrom player in the country and represents the Indian Oil group.
Bajrang Punia — Wrestling
Bajrang Punia, well known as he is now, was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth. His father, a wrestler, did not have money enough to send his son to play sports that required specialised equipment. Born in the Khudan village of Haryana, wrestling seemed to be the only option. As he started practising in akharas his interest grew and he skipped school to home his skills. He started fighting in
junior-level competitions and the prize money he won allowed him to help his family. A series of exceptional performances (in 65kg) later, when he bagged the Asian title twice, won gold medals at the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games and silver medals at the World Championships and World Under-23 Championships. He went on to win Olympic medal for India in 2021.
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