India vs England: Once survived twin tragedies within six months, Akash Deep ‘ready to realise’ his dream | Cricket News

Feb 10, 2024



New Delhi: sky lamp He had just finished his spell and was manning the boundary when he heard everyone in the Bengal dressing room clapping in unison and congratulating him.
He was recently included in the Indian Test squad for the first time for the remaining three matches against England, a reward for his hard work in red ball cricket for Bengal and India A last season.
Speaking to PTI, Akash Deep said, “I was hopeful that if I continued to perform well, I might get a chance in the Test team in the near future, but I did not expect that it would happen only till the third match.” From his hotel room in Thumba, Kerala.
It has been a good seven-year journey for the 27-year-old player, from becoming a star tennis ball all-rounder in Durgapur to playing first division in Kolkata and then under-23 and first class cricket.
Playing cricket in Sasaram was a “crime”
If someone had told the 15-year-old son of government school teacher Ramji Singh that he could make a career in cricket, he himself would have laughed it off.
“In Bihar (suspended by BCCI in those days), there was no stage and especially where I came from, in Sasaram, playing cricket was a crime. How many parents used to tell their children to stay away from Akash, they Padhai nahi karta hai aur usko sangat mein badad donga (Many parents warn their kids not to mix with Akash because he only plays cricket and your studies will be ruined),” Akash laughed. Said.
“But you know, I don't blame them. What would you have gained by playing cricket at a place like ours? You would waste time and not even become a cricketer and ignore academics too.”
The worry that his future would be ruined started troubling him. So, too, were my parents,” he said.
His father used to tell Akash that if possible he should appear for the government examination.
“Appear for the Bihar Police constable exam or at least try for class IV employee (peon) of the state government, my father used to say. He used to fill those government job application forms and I would go to give the exam and get the blank Used to return after submitting the form.
In my mind, while cricket was my passion, I just wanted to be happy and never thought of making it a career,” he said.
But then things changed when tragedy struck not once but twice in a span of six months.
After his father passed away, Akash even more tragically lost his elder brother, who had two young school-going daughters.
“My father and brother died within six months. I had nothing to eat. The motivation was to do something now because I had to take responsibility for the family.”
With the help of a friend, he got a chance to play for a club in Durgapur, West Bengal but the only money he earned came from playing tennis ball cricket.
“I used to play proper leather ball matches for my club but initially there was no money. So three to four days a month I used to play tennis ball matches across the district and earn Rs 6000 per day.
So I used to earn Rs 20,000 per month, which helped me meet my expenses,” said Akash, who was self-taught until he made it to Bengal U-23.
“I never had any fixed coach. Saurasish Lahiri (current Bengal assistant coach), Arun Lal Sir, Rano sir (Randeb Bose) all have helped me from time to time and whatever I could learn, I have learned,'' he said.
playing at the highest level
Akash has taken 103 wickets in 29 first-class games and in the two 'Tests' against England Lions he took 11 wickets, including two four-wicket hauls.
“Inswing is my stock delivery but at this level, you need outswing and reverse swing and more importantly, the swing needs to be controlled.
I was in the (India) ODI team in South Africa and I realized that more than skill at this level, it is more about the mental strength to be able to execute plans under pressure,” he said.
This is the first time in many years that two fast bowlers from Bengal are together in the Indian Test team.
“It is a matter of pride that I and Mukesh (Kumar) bhai will be in the Indian dressing room together in the Test team. Bengal is our state and it has given us everything. This national call-up is my way of showing my performance in Bengal Thank you,” he said.



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