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Too fat for Delhi, too good for Aussies

Amit Mishra, the man who took seven wickets on debut in the Mohali Test, wanted to play for the city of his birth, the place where he learnt his cricket and grew to love it, reports Varun Gupta.

cricket Updated: Oct 25, 2008 00:15 IST

Delhi's cricket establishment could have claimed him for one of their own during Kotla Test next week, if they hadn't kicked him out in rather cruel fashion. "They told me I didn't have enough talent," Amit Mishra, Indian cricket's latest spinning wonder, told HT before the series, peaceful enough now to wryly smile about it.

Mishra, the man who took seven wickets on debut in the Mohali Test, wanted to play for the city of his birth, the place where he learnt his cricket and grew to love it, while training at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Club in Bharat Nagar in west part of the Capital.

Unfortunately, the Capital is also a city governed by high power politics and money, often even in selections. Mishra's very modest middle class background (he grew up in Paharganj) gave him no leverage and despite his wickets by the bucketful in local tournaments, he was never picked for the u-19s, not even the shortlist of 30.

He was never given any reason for his being ignored — other than a generic "lack of talent" — and some unkind advice. If he wanted to play “uunchi cricket”, he'd better lose weight, he was "too fat".

Mishra incidentally, was about the same size as he is now, and if being skinny was what gave a spinner his mojo, then, the world would never have had Shane Warne. At that time, the 18-year-old Mishra quit and moved to Haryana, where he went onto to become captain and take over 300 first-class wickets before being called up to replace the injured Anil Kumble at Mohali.