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Starting late, rising quickly

india Updated: Dec 13, 2009 22:39 IST
Anam Arsalan

This tearaway fast bowler is making a name for claming opposition scalps in a jiffy.

Meet Pawan Suyal, a shy lad from Uttaranchal who is gradually inching towards a permanent place in a Delhi side that already has a good pack of pacers.

Surprisingly, Suyal has risen quickly despite starting late. “I started playing cricket 18 months ago and I am glad that I have made it into the team. I owe it all to my coach Madan Sharma, who has helped me throughout.”

In fact, cricket wasn't even on his mind when he came here to look for a job. “After passing my Xth boards, I came to Delhi to join the CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force). I failed miserably, but my didi and jeeja ji (sister and brother-in-law) urged me on.

“They told me to try again next year and asked me to settle for a job in a private company. But, that was rather tough as no private firm wanted to keep me.

Maybe, I wasn't qualified enough — whatever the reason was but they kept dilly-dallying,” he said.

“One of those days I was jogging at a park near my house in Dwarka when I met a boy who used to go to the Telefunken Academy for cricket coaching. Soon, I was going for trials…that's how it all began,” he said.

Coach Madan Sharma was all praise for Suyal.

“He was impressive from the start,” he said. “The very first ball that he bowled was so quick that it knocked the batsman down on the ground. When I saw that, I was impressed and decided to groom him.”

Soon, the 20-something left-hander was out there playing in the Delhi and District Cricket Association's league.

From there he made it to Delhi U-22 squad, where Delhi selectors Hari Gidwani and Chentan Chauhan spotted him.

Then came the surprise.

“I was travelling in the Metro when my coach (Madan Sharma) called me and broke the news that I was selected in the Delhi Ranji squad,” said Suyal.

“I was so shocked that I just couldn't move. I forgot to get down at the station and people around me started shouting and pushing me aside,” said Suyal.

He might have been pushed aside in the Metro, but Suyal is no pushover as far as his bowling acumen is concerned as his six-wicket destruction of Saurashtra showed.

In three matches this season, Suyal has already claimed 13 wickets and has been economical too with just 4.06 runs an over.

What's more, this is just the beginning.