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Sathish does it for his mother

Chennai Superstars' ace batsman, Rajagopal Sathish, who scored a valuable 38 against the Chandigarh Lions yesterday dedicates that knock to his mother, reports Anam Arsalan.

india Updated: Oct 19, 2008 23:20 IST
Anam Arsalan

Had he not been a cricketer, he would have been a cyclist. He is Chennai Superstars' ace batsman, Rajagopal Sathish, who scored a valuable 38 against the Chandigarh Lions on Saturday night.

“No doubt, it was a good knock and the highest of the innings, but it was useless as it could not help the team win,” he said, disappointed.

The distress is momentary, for this 27-year-old from Tamil Nadu is more than happy to be a part of the Indian Cricket League, considering his modest background.

"I was a cricket fanatic and would play all day in school. We had to practice on the mat, as there was no turf wicket in our district (Trichy). My mother wanted me to play on and got me admitted to a school (Campion High School) that was 20 km from our house. There was no option but to commute on a cycle.

"It was tough, but fun, recalled Sathish. "Now, when I try and do it, my mother stops me saying, 'it's far, why don't you drive down instead'. I have come a long way."

The path has been arduous. Sathish lost his father when he was just six and that left his mother to support the family of four. "My mother used to run a beauty parlour at home and that was the only source of income. I am surprised how she managed but we never felt monetary strain."

Sathish continued to hone his skills and often travelled to Chennai, some 300 km from Trichy, to play district-level matches. He worked his way up and found a place in the 2000-01 Tamil Nadu Ranji side. But he could not cement his place despite showing enough promise.

"As I was not a regular member, I decided to move to Assam. Once there, I left no stone unturned to play to my skills. I scored three tons in 2003-04 and represent East Zone in Deodhar and Duleep Trophies.

"It was ironical that playing against Tamil Nadu (in 2004-05) I scored an unbeaten 204 and that forced them to call me back. But when I rejoined, I was kept out for a long time."

He did make a come back and went on to captain the side, but then ICL happened and he joined without giving it a second thought.

"It was a good decision for my life changed drastically. My mother had toiled hard to make me a cricketer but could never watch me play, as Ranji matches was not telecast on TV. Now, not only does she watch me play, relatives call and tell her to switch on the TV and see me play."