As a 10-year-old Karan Kaila hounded his father to put him in a school where he could pursue playing cricket without the distraction of studies. Eight years later, the left handed all-rounder has arrived in international cricket.
The bubbly 18-year-old has been named in the Indian team for the ACC U-19Asia Cup to be held in the United Arab Emirates.
Karan was then studying at British Co-ed School in Patiala, but even at this young age, he had the passion and vision to see him self as an India player.
His father, Dr Sanjeev Kaila, posted at a government dispensary near Rajpura, said, "It was his wish to play cricket and I am very happy for him."
"He was also good at swimming, but his heart was in cricket. He had the zeal for the game. This compelled me to allow it to pursue it full-time. His hard-work has paid off. I am sure he will do well for the country," he added, with pride in his voice.
Earlier, this month Karan, as captain of Punjab U-19 team, led the team to victory at the u-19 Vinoo Mankad
one-day cricket tournament.
In the final, Punjab defeated Bengal by 96 runs. Karan scored 27 runs and took one wicket for 24 runs in his 10-over spell.
In the semifinal, where Punjab defeated Uttar Pradesh, Karan played a captain's knock, scoring an unbeaten 50 and later took four wickets for 60 runs. He also recorded a five-wicket haul against Assam in the quarterfinal.
For Karan's coach, Munish Bali, his ward has just fulfilled his first target.
"It was four years ago, when I was with the Indian under-19 team and Karan was playing for the state in under-16. I told him that if he keeps up the good work, he will have a shot at playing in the under-19 World Cup. This selection is a step towards that goal," Bali said.
Bali said that Karan played the game in mould of current India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja.
"He can bat, bowl and is also an excellent fielder. I am sure he will do well. His biggest assets are mental strength, focus and control over line and length," Bali added.