It was his sheer destiny when young Ishwar Pandey accompanied his friend to watch the selection trials for Under-17 divisional cricket team at his hometown Rewa, a divisional headquarters in Madhya Pradesh.
A science student Ishwar Pandey used to play cricket just out of passion in different localities of Rewa town. Unexpectedly, he got the chance in the trials held at Rewa University ground.
Though Ishwar couldn’t be selected for the divisional team his pace and passion impressed everybody present at the ground and he was invited by a local club to play for them. However, Ishwar unwillingly turned down the offer. The reason was he knew his father- a retired Subedar Major from Army- wouldn’t allow him to make cricket his career. He wanted him to become a doctor.
Thus, the story of MP Ranji team pacer Ishwar Pandey sounds no less than a fairy tale when he makes it to the Indian team now for New Zealand tour as a medium pacer within a short span of six years after he made a formal entry into the cricket scenario.
Later, he got admission to the university and was selected to the university team too.
Talking to Hindustan Times Pandey said, “I had gone to the university ground for trials without knowing about it. After seeing the ambience over there I also took part in the trials. It was my first appearance in the serious cricket.”
“Since my father was not in favour of taking to cricket as a career option it was my university team’s coach Aril Anthony who not only convinced my father but also groomed me as a fine cricketer,” Pandey added.
Pandey made his debut in domestic cricket in November 2007 when he was selected for MP Under-19 team. Despite not scalping many wickets he succeeded in impressing U-19 coach Mukesh Sahini. Later he was spotted by former International player Amay Khurasia of MP.
Khurasia took him to the MRF Pace Academy in Chennai which helped him enhance his performance.
After becoming the best bowler of Ranji Trophy-2012 when he scalped as many as 48 wickets for Madhya Pradesh, Ishwar Pandey stole the limelight again by scalping five wickets in the two matches in his maiden India ‘A’ tour to South Africa.
Pandey’s success and dedication convinced his father that he is on the right way to success.
“Now my father not only motivates me but also has become a keen follower of the game.”
Ishwar said, “I felt great when my idol and Australian pacer Glenn Mcgrath praised my performance during India ‘A’ tour to South Africa.”
Her mother Uma Pandey was in tears when she heard of her son’s selection in the Indian team.
“My mother always inspired me to do my best in whatever field I chose to be. I used to get up early morning for practice but before that my mother had already prepared the breakfast for me. Today, my selection to the Indian team is a gift to her”, said Pandey.