India U-19 team has made a perfect start to their World Cup campaign in New Zealand. The youngsters have registered two wins out of two and will now take on Zimbabwe in their final group match. The only major disappointment till now has been the injury suffered by Ishan Porel in the opening group match against Australia.
With Ishan out of action for sometime and currently being monitored by the doctors, the team management have asked for Aditya Thakare to be sent in as a replacement for the pacer.
Following the team management’s decision, BCCI made a small statement which read, “India U19 medium-pacer Ishan Porel suffered a bruised heel in his left foot during India’s first group game of the ICC U19 World Cup against Australia. He has a soft tissue injury and the BCCI Medical Team is monitoring his progress.
The Indian team management in New Zealand has asked for Aditya Thakare as cover and the Vidarbha bowler will join the team before the quarter-final on 26th January 2018.”
Aditya Thakare made his debut in Ranji Trophy playing for Vidarbha in their victorious final against Delhi last month. The bowler impressed hugely in that game but very few of us know that Thakare almost quit cricket 3 years ago when he was in 10th class to focus solely on his academics.
However, the coaches seeing his talent at the Akola Cricket Club (ACC) convinced him to not give up the game. Speaking about that phase of life, Aditya’s father Shailesh said,
“Aditya began playing cricket in Class VIII, at the age of 14, with ACC. However, in Class X, he told me that he wanted to quit because he was finding it very difficult to manage both cricket and his studies. We discussed this with his ACC coach Bharat Dikkar and he advised us against it. The other coaches at ACC also felt that Aditya should continue as he had the potential to make it big in the game. Aditya was initially hesitant but later agreed. He went on to secure 90 per cent in the SSC examination. With his World Cup opportunity, we now realise what a big mistake we would have made had he given up on the game then.”
Even though Aditya managed to pick just 2 wickets in the Ranji Final, his performance and effort didn’t go unnoticed. However, at one point in time, he was not even included in the probables of the Vidarbha U-16 team.
Bharat Dikkar, who is also the VCA’s convenor for Akola district explained what really happened at that point. He explained, “Aditya was 15, when he excelled with the ball for ACC in our all-India T20 tournament, against Madhya Pradesh XI, who had a few first-class players in their ranks.
“Vidarbha’s U-16 team had already been announced by then but I requested Adwait Manohar (then Vidarbha Cricket Association’s Cricket Development Committee chief) and the selectors to simply watch this boy bowl. They agreed, and were impressed with Aditya.
He did not just make the U-16 squad but also went on to finish as the highest wicket-taker for Vidarbha.”