From food vendor to national pride: Meet India U-19 cricketer Yashasvi Jaiswal
Yashasvi Jaiswal provided India with a perfect start as the youngster scored a 113-ball 85 to take his team to a big total of 304/3 against Sri Lanka in the final of U-19 Asia Cup.Updated: Oct 08, 2018 14:55 IST
Yashasvi Jaiswal was a top-performer for the Indian cricket team as they defeated Sri Lanka to clinch the U-19 Asia Cup title in Dhaka on Sunday. The opener provided India with a perfect start as the youngster scored a 113-ball 85 to take his team to a big total of 304/3. This was just the latest in a long line of impressive performances by Jaiswal as he ended the tournament with 318 runs at an average of 79.50.
However, just three years ago, the situation was completely different for the youngster from Bhadohi. When he came to Mumbai in 2012, he was just 11 years ago and had nowhere to live in the city. With cricket taking up most of his time, he was thrown out of a dairy shop where he used to sleep and was given refuge by the groundsmen at the Muslim United Club’s tent at the Azad Maidan ground.
Things did not improve much for Jaiswal as he continued to live there and although he continued playing cricket, money was becoming a big factor. He used to help out a food vendor and at the tent, he was given lunch and dinner but his job in the kitchen was to make rotis for the staff.
“I just wanted to play cricket and I want to play for Mumbai. I used to stay in a tent and there was no electricity, washrooms or water facilities there. To make ends meet, I started working with a food vendor. On occasions, my teammates would turn up and I’d serve them. I felt terrible. But it took that in my stride as it was necessary,” Jaiswal told ESPNCricinfo in an interview.
However, everything changed when he was spotted by his coach – Jwala Singh – in the nets. The youngster was on the verge of leaving the sport due to the lack of opportunities, but Singh decided to take him under his wing and soon, he was staying with his coach.
“He was 11-12 years old when I first saw him bat. I was immediately impressed by his performance and he was playing against Division A bowlers with ease. Then my friend told me that he was struggling to find a home and he didn’t have a coach here,” Singh said.
Jaiswal soon found himself in the Limca Book of Records after scoring an unbeaten 319 and registering bowling figures of 13/99 - a record for most runs and wickets in a school cricket match. Soon, the youngster was announced in the Mumbai U-16 squad before making it to the India U-19 team. With the Asia Cup producing such great results for Jaiswal, coach Jwala Singh is confident that his pupil will surely play for India one day.
In the last three years, he has made 51 centuries and has taken 200 wickets. He’s got a habit of making big scores. If he carries on playing like this in big tournaments, I’m very sure he will play for India.”
First Published: Oct 08, 2018 14:54 IST