Before the economic slowdown, almost all roads to a better future led to the United States with the young generation here awaiting an opportunity to relocate to that country.
Fifteen-year-old Harshal Patel too had an opportunity to enjoy a life of comfort in New Jersey when his family migrated to the United Stats of America. But instead, the youngster stayed back in Ahmedabad to pursue a career in cricket.
Now 19, Patel’s family would be proud of his decision with the right-arm medium pacer making it to the India squad for the Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand.“I always wanted to make a career in cricket. My coach Tarak Trivedi convinced my parents to let me pursue my dream here and I am happy that I have made everyone proud by making it to the World Cup squad,” the second year studexnt of H.A. College of Commerce said before the team’s departure for a preparatory tour of South Africa.
Patel first impressed during the 2008-09 under-19 Vinoo Mankad Trophy where he took 23 wickets at an average of 11.
He was picked in Gujarat’s one-day squad in February last year and also made it to the squad for India’s under-19 tour to Australia in April.
“The Australia tour taught me a lot. Even in New Zealand the conditions are expected to seamer-friendly and I expect to perform well,” he said.
The out-swinger is Patel’s stock delivery and the lanky bowler relies more on accuracy than pace and says he would love to play the role of spearhead in the World Cup.
But he knows that cementing a place in the XI will not be an easy task in a squad that has four quality seamers.
He did not make waves during the tri-series in South Africa — claiming just two wickets in two matches. But then, fighting odds to realise his dream comes naturally to Patel.