Kings XI Punjab bowler Parvinder Awana (C) watches as Pune Warriors batsman Jesse Ryder (L) and Saurav Gangulay run between the wickets during the IPL Twenty20 cricket match between Kings XI Punjab and Pune Warriors at PCA Stadium in Mohali. AFP Photo/Prakash Singh
Some things are destined to happen, believes pacer Parvinder Awana. The Delhi boy has become a key man for the Kings XI Punjab, but had his uncle not pushed him into cricket, Awana would have been either catching criminals or farming.
“It was my uncle who insisted that I joined the cricket academy at the National Stadium. I never dreamt that I would make it this far,” said the pacer.
“I cleared the physical test required to join the police force and was all set to join when I opted for cricket as a career.”
The native of Araula village, on the outskirts of Noida, said his forefathers were farmers. That was another option of earning a living and that’s why he took to cricket only after turning 18.
“My father passed away (in 1999) when I was 13. Though my mother got a job, we had a tough time. Cricket was only a pasttime then,” said Awana, the second highest wicket-taker in the domestic season with 57 scalps.
Awana reached a turning point in 2004. “I was chosen the fastest bowler in the Scorpio Speedster contest and sent to Australia. There, I spent valuable days with former Aussie pacer Damien Fleming, which helped me make rapid strides.”
Even after scalping nine wickets in just four games in the IPL, the pacer harbours the dream of shining with the bat. “In my village, I used to open the batting and win matches. People used to call me and make me bunk school for my batting. Hopefully, someday in the IPL too, I will win a game with the bat,” said the 23-year-old.
Awana also feels if village boys like him are groomed, India’s fast bowling pool can grow. “Players like Umesh and I hail from villages and that reflects in our build,” said Awana.