While the son was playing his bit in India’s memorable victory in the World Cup under-19 final against Australia ‘Down Under’, a delighted father is seen capturing the final images of those match-winning moments on his mobile with predictable joy.
Well, this is the story of Aprajith Baba who scored 33 in the final on Sunday besides taking a wicket. And, soft-spoken, proud father Dr. Baba is predictably delighted at the end-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 New Zealand-India Test match at Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Hyderabad.
Not surprisingly, because of the delayed start at the Test match in Hyderabad, the media was all focused on the Under-19 final in Australia and so was the proud father Dr. Baba, shooting the final, match-winning moments on his mobile, something which he will be cherishing for a long time.
The 18-year-old Aprajith, whose twin brother Indrajith (who led South Zone under-19), 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, reminds Dr. Baba, who runs a 60-bed multi-speciality hospital in Chennai.
Aprajith, born in Ambattur in Tamil Nadu, is a plus-two student of St. Bede’s school in Chennai and has the rare distinction of even scoring a century for Vijay CC in the TNCA First Division league, three months ago, for which his idol former India’s captain Rahul Dravid played in the same match. In fact, the illustrious gave invaluable tips to the young Aprajith while standing with him in the slips, recalls Dr. Baba.
This Chennai boy has had crucial contributions of 44, 51 and 33 in the last three knock-out matches of World Cup besides taking six wickets, including 'man of the match' awards in the knock-out phase. He was first coached by 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 great moment. But because of my BCCI commitment, I had to stay back in India,” said Dr. Baba who was continuously busy responding to the congratulatory messages on phone. Significantly, he also reveals that he never discussed cricket with his son as there were already lot of people advising the young cricketer. “I did not want to put too much of pressure. I just let him enjoy the game,” he pointed out.