Mixed feelings at Ravi Bishnoi’s house after India U19 lost to Bangladesh U19 in World Cup final
It was a proud moment for the family members of India U-19 leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi as their boy emerged the leading wicket taker of ICC U19 World Cup in South Africa. However, despite returning figures of 4/30 in the final against Bangladesh on Sunday, the three-wicket defeat has put celebrations on hold.
Ashok Bishnoi, elder brother of Ravi, said that the family was happy with the fact he performed well throughout the tournament, but one of his best ever spells was not enough to help India retain the World Cup. “My brother took 17 wickets in the tournament and also took four wickets in today’s final. Not only him but entire team played well but we are disappointed as India lost,” Ashok said. (India vs Bangladesh U19 World Cup scorecard )
Bishnoi, 19, was in Class 3 when he started playing cricket and joined a cricket academy in Jodhpur. Initially, his father Mangilal Bishnoi, was unsure if his son could make a career in cricket and persuaded Bishnoi to focus on studies. However, the father’s opinion changed when Bishnoi bowled well in a school tournament in Class 5.
To fulfill Bishnoi’s dream to grow up and play for India, Mangilal, who is a school headmaster, had to run from pillar to post to raise extra money so that he could provide proper cricket coaching to his son. He took loan multiple times from his brother. Later, seeing Bishnoi’s performance, a private cricket academy opted to sponsor him.
But life was equally challenging for Bishnoi too. When he was dropped from the playing 11 in an under-16 tournament, his father asked Bishnoi to quit cricket. However, Bishnoi coach Pradyut Rathore convinced Mangilal to allow his son to continue playing cricket.
Family members say that the credit for Bishnoi’s success goes to his two coaches Pradyut Rathore and Shahrukh Pathan, who is the man who first spotted the leg-spinner and supported him all the way. Bishnoi was 8 or 9 when Rathore and Sharukh saw his skills and decided to groom him.
On Sunday, Bishnoi created an Indian record in the U19 World Cup. With 17 wickets in the tournament, Bishnoi surpassed the previous record of 15 wickets jointly shared by Shalabh Srivastava (2000), Abhishek Sharma (2002), Kuldeep Yadav (2014) and Anukul Roy (2018) to become the highest Indian wicket-taking bowler in a single U19 World Cup. Canada’s Akhil Kumar and Shafiqullah Ghafari of Afghanistan have 16 wickets each in this World Cup. On Sunday Bishnoi also became the third Indian to take four wickets in an U19 World Cup final after Piyush Chawla in 2006 and Sandeep Sharma in 2012.