Yogesh Nagar, the Delhi Daredevils all-rounder, went to catch a show of latest flick, Well Done Abba, when the team returned after beating the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Nagar thought it was apt, as his father, Ajay Veer Nagar, scored 50 off just 14 balls in a Delhi and Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) league match playing for United Cricket Club (UCC).
We have heard of brothers playing professional cricket, of cricketers’ sons becoming cricketers, but this is rather rare — a father and son playing professional cricket at the same time but for different clubs.
While Yogesh plays for LB Shastri in the DDCA League, his father plays for UCC. Though Nagar Sr, 42, never took cricket to a higher level, he looks to his 20-year-old son to fulfill his dream. “I play for United in league games and other local tournaments but I don’t see any future in it, my future is my son,” he said.
A Delhi Jal Board employee, Ajay Veer, a leg-spinner, picked up 37 wickets and 350 runs in the 2007-08 season and was called to attend the Delhi Ranji Trophy camp, which he refused. “My job was my only source of income. Moreover, I wanted Yogesh to play cricket, not me.”
And he says his son’s progress has him happy enough. “These are his baptism years and he is doing well, I am happy with his game.”
Yogesh incidentally, said that while he looks to his father for inspiration and support, the senior Nagar never interferes in his learning and never coaches him. “It’s a blessing to have an environment of cricketing education at home but he never told me I was holding the bat wrong and it should be like this…”
Yogesh said his most distinct memories of his father’s have been those early days, when he would play matches in the morning and work at night.
“I have seen him doing this all his life, it’s the way he is and has taught me life’s fundamental lesson. “Whatever I do, I need to do it in the spirit that my father does — do it well, no matter what it is, at what level, in cricket and otherwise.”