Debutant Ishan Kishan bowled everyone over when he took over the game in the 2nd T20I at Motera in Ahmedabad on Sunday. Kishan who played his first match in the blue jersey scored a roaring 56 runs in 32 balls impressing cricketing fans and ace cricketers alike.
Kishan’s 94-runs helped the Indian cricket team chase down the target of 165 runs, scoring an easy win against England. And his life story is as awe-inspiring as his debut match was.
Kishan, who had always dreamt of being a cricketer, had to live a pretty difficult life to reach where he is today. From parting ways from his family at 12 to sleeping on an empty stomach for almost two years, Kishan went through all this and more to mold into this focused and passionate sportsman he is today.
“He was just a boy and his coach (Uttam Majumdar) and everyone said that if he has to play higher cricket, he should migrate to Ranchi,” recalled his father Pranav Kumar Pandey during an interview with The Indian Express. “His mother was upset but after a lot of discussions, we decided to send him to the neighbouring state. There was some fear in the mind, but Ishan was stubborn to go to Ranchi,” he added.
Since Kishan secured a spot in the SAIL (Steel Authority of India Ltd.) team in the district cricket tournament in Ranchi, he had to share his one-room quarters with four other seniors. There, Kishan was levied with the duty of doing the dishes since he didn’t know how to cook.
“His seniors used to go to play cricket in the nights, and on many occasions, he would sleep without eating; he never told us. This continued for two years. He would get some chips, Kurkure, and Coca-Cola and sleep.”
“When we used to call, he used to lie that he had his dinner. Once we came to know, we decided we will rent a flat in Ranchi,” his father said adding that soon his mom Suchitra moved in with him in the new house.
All the sweat and blood eventually bore fruits and Kishan finally became captain of the India Under-19 world cup team in 2016 coached by Rahul Dravid.
“That was the first time I felt that my son must be good as they made him the captain. More than that I felt at least now if nothing good happens ahead in cricket, he will get a government job. Padhayi-likhayi mein toh mann tha he nahi uska (he never had much interest in academics)” his father divulged.
Fast forward to today when he made headlines with his batting skills. Both his father and his coach were thrilled to see him taking over the match. “All my life, I dreamt Ishan batting in a crowded stadium in the Indian jersey. The dream has finally come true, the hard work in the heat for all those years has paid off. He was very close to my father and it was a dream that we all saw together,” his coach, Majumdar said.
Majumdar added that Kishan dedicated his half-century against England to his father who died of cancer. “He was very close to my father. He was with me from the age of five-six. He is part of my family. I had casually told him before the game that if you score fifty, it will be a tribute to my father and he did it,” an emotional Majumdar added.
It might take some time and you might feel you’re working too hard for it, but eventually, everything falls in place and Kishan is testimony to this fact. Congratulations, champ. Way to go!