While the son did his bit in India’s memorable victory in the under-19 World Cup final against Australia ‘Down Under’, a delighted father was seen capturing the final images of those match-winning moments on his mobile phone during the ongoing first Test between India and New Zealand here on Sunday.
This is the story of B. Aparajith who scored 33 in the final, besides taking one wicket. And B. Aparajith’s proud father Dr. Baba was predictably delighted at the result.
“This is obviously a great feeling and the credit should go to the entire team,” said Dr. Baba, who is also the BCCI media coordinator for the on-going Test match.
Not surprisingly, because of the delayed start to the Test match here, the media was focused on the under-19 final in Australia.
18-year-old Aparajith, whose twin brother Indrajith (who led the South Zone under-19 team), started playing the sport at the age of four, and at nine was already playing for the State under-13 squad. “He is always ahead of the age group,” says Dr. Baba, who runs a 60-bed multi-speciality hospital in Chennai.
Aparajith, born at Ambattur in Chennai, is a plus-two student of St. Bede’s College in Chennai and scored a century for Vijay CC in the TNCA first division league three months ago. His idol Rahul Dravid played in the same match. In fact, Dravid gave invaluable tips to the young Aprajith while standing with him in the slips, recalls Dr. Baba.
The Chennai lad made crucial contributions of 44, 51 and 33 in the last three knockout matches of the World Cup besides taking six wickets, including ‘man of the match’ awards in the quarterfinal and semifinal. He was first coached by K. Srikkanth and Bala Prasad before former India star T.E. Srinivasan and Suresh Kumar helped him fine-tune his skills. Currently, former Ranji player S. Balaji is his mentor-cum-coach.
“I would have loved to be there in Australia at this moment.
“But because of my BCCI commitments, I had to stay back in India,” said Dr. Baba, who was kept busy responding to congratulatory messages on the phone.
He said he never discussed cricket with his son as there were already a lot of people advising the young cricketer. “I did not want to put pressure on him,” he pointed out.
Keywords: Under-19 World Cup