'After I lost my dad, brother in a year...': Debutant Akash Deep gets emotional | Cricket - Hindustan Times
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'After I lost my dad and brother in one year...': Akash Deep gets emotional after successful India debut

Feb 23, 2024 08:28 PM IST

Akash dedicated his wonderful three-wicket haul to his father Ramji Singh, who died in 2015 after succumbing to paralysis.

India, still with a depleted batting lineup, were without their best bowler in the series, Jasprit Bumrah, as they headed into the fourth Test against England on Friday at the JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi. Yet, India were ahead at the end of Day 1 in the match, with England losing seven wickets, courtesy of Akash Deep, who had an impressive debut, picking three wickets as he ran through the top order. Following a debut success, Akash got emotional in the press conference as he dedicated his award to his late father.

India's Akash Deep celebrates the wicket of England's Zak Crawley on Day 1 of the 4th Test match, at JSCA International Stadium Complex, in Ranchi on Friday(BCCI-X)
India's Akash Deep celebrates the wicket of England's Zak Crawley on Day 1 of the 4th Test match, at JSCA International Stadium Complex, in Ranchi on Friday(BCCI-X)

Bouncing back from a no-ball dismissal of Zak Crawley in the fourth over of the innings, Akash dismissed Ben Duckett and Ollie Pope successively in his fifth over before getting rid of the former in the next over. He finished with 3 for 51 as England amassed 302 for seven on Day 1.

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Akash dedicated his wonderful three-wicket haul to his father Ramji Singh, who died in 2015 after succumbing to paralysis. Six months later, he lost his elder brother.

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Speaking to the media in Ranchi, Akash, who hails from Baddi village in Rohtas district of Bihar, about 300km from Ranchi, recalled how he bounced back from those two heartbreaking incidents to make his international debut for India. He then dedicated his successful debut to his late father.

"I thought I have to do something after I lost my dad and brother in one year, then I stepped out to play cricket. I had nothing to lose and everything to win," Akash said. "I dedicate this to my father because it was his dream that his son does something in life. I couldn't do anything in his life (when he was alive), so this performance is for my father.

"Every cricketer has one dream, to play for India in Tests. That was also my dream," added the Bengal pacer. "We didn't know about cricket while growing up; cricket was not there where I come from. I played tennis cricket after 2007 and got to know about cricket after 2016. Since then, I have been following (Mohammed) Shami bhai and (South Africa's Kagiso) Rabada. I got my Test cap at a place which is near to my village (in Bihar) as well as Bengal from where I play. Bengal supported me well. In my journey, my family played a big role. My family is also here. No doubt, it's an emotional feeling but there was just one thing going on in my mind -- how to contribute to the team."

Akash's opening burst saw England losing half their side for 112 at lunch. However, Joe Root's record century single-handedly kept the visitors alive in the contest. The former England captain bounced back from a poor run of form to score his maiden fifty-plus knock in the series, en route to a 10th century in the format against India, the most by any player against the opposition.

"At the start, bowlers got some help but after that when the wicket dried up, the ball also became very soft. The pitch is pretty slow. We are able to manage it (bowling) but I feel that as a bowling unit, we will have to focus on our line and length, keep it tight. If we make that effort we will get success. The bounce is the same but, I feel, we can keep the length away because the ball is coming onto the bat easily. it was a good wicket today," Akash said.

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