Cricket doesn’t discriminate. Cricket weighs you for the skills you possess over anything else. And so it did for Priyam Garg.
Hailing from a small town near Meerut, Parikshitgarh, Priyam Garg, if not the luckiest, must have had an emotional night the other day post receiving the honour of leading the U-19 Indian cricket team for the 2020 U-19 World Cup.
Emotional, keeping in mind the share of struggles he had to overpower to play the game he loved the most.
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Life happened to Garg, but wasn’t easy of course. From travelling 40km daily from his residence to attend training, convincing his father to let him play and losing his mother at a tender age of 11, Garg’s life is worth a biopic.
In an interview with The Indian Express, Priyam recalls his father’s contribution in molding him into what he is today.
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“My father did most of the hard work, he did all the odd jobs that you can imagine… selling milk, driving school vans, loading goods, he ensured that I got a good life. He went through all that just to see me become a cricketer one day. He took me to Meerut and made sure that I got into a decent academy,” says Priyam.
Nevertheless, he ensured his father’s effort don’t go in vain. And his efforts paid off as he went on to represent the U-14, U-16 and U-19 sides of Uttar Pradesh. Garg, last year had amassed, as many as 867 runs for UP in his maiden Ranji Trophy season, including one double hundred, two centuries and five fifties.
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Link With Bhuvneshwar Kumar
For the unknown, Priyam Garg has also been trained with the Indian pacer Bhuvneshawar Kumar. At the age of 15, he had faced deliveries from one of the most talented bowlers, Bhuveneshawar Kumar, at the Victoria Park in Merrut.
The face-off intact an interesting story in itself, which his coach Sanjay Rastogi narrates.
“He was standing two or three yards outside the crease while facing up to Bhuvi. As Bhuvi ran in, I stopped him and asked Priyam to look where he’s standing. He went back next ball and stood out [of his crease] again. After the over, I asked him and he said, ‘since the ball was swinging, I deliberately stood out to negate the movement’. Can you imagine, a 15-year-old kid doing that, against an India fast bowler? That is when his game awareness really shone through.”
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The instance is one of the many examples of his awareness of the game. Surely, that puts him in the favourites list for the U-19 World Cup that starts in South Africa next month.
Wishing him all the best for his future endeavors.