Aniket Shaw, A Kolkata Boy Waits To Blossom In Cricket
Dreams and aspirations know no boundaries. Dreamers have surpassed borders of limited means to achieving ultimate goals in their life. At a time when cricket pundits are biting nails after watching the immensely talented Mumbai-based cricketer, Prithvi Shaw hitting the ball out of the park effortlessly, a 20-years-old boy, Aniket Shaw is spinning the 5.5 ounces leather ball for crafting his way to the pride of the Indian cricket.
In India, cricket is like a religion. Like any other passionate Indian child, Aniket too was driven by the feeling of playing cricket. Hence, in the year 2011 when team India lifted the Cricket World Cup after 28 years, Aniket lifted willow and wicket-keeping gloves to hit the 22 yards. Initially, Aniket aspired to become a wicketkeeper-batsman but could not prove his mettle with bat and gloves.
One day during his net practice session in Kolkata, he picked up the Kookaburra ball and started spinning it on the pitch. To his disbelief, the coach of Aniket was surprised and impressed at the talent of the boy and insisted him to stick to balling only. Aniket marks this incident as a breakthrough and turning point in his cricketing career.
After rigorous training and practice sessions on nets, Aniket finally played his debut match as a right-arm spin bowler at Amroha, Uttar Pradesh. The debutant picked up and a hattrick against Rajasthan in that match and left the spectators stunned.
“Everyone appreciated the variations in my ball that day. It filled me with more and more confident about my bowling abilities and motivated me to work harder on polishing my skills.”
With every noble goal there are psychological and physiological challenges waiting in the way, Aniket was not different. He had to hold his training and drop cricket ball for next year because of his intermediate studies. After one year he did his comeback and once again he excelled by saving 13 wickets in his kit in 5 different matches on a tour to Haryana. For his phenomenal performance as the highest wicket-taker in the tournament, he was awarded the Man of the match trophy and was facilitated by the Haryana government. The same year Aniket was signed up by a Kolkata first division club in 2016-17 domestic session. Hereafter he was called for the Indian Premier League practice sessions for senior IPL players.
Aniket remembers, “I was selected as a net-practice bowler for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) club. It was a golden opportunity for me. In that season I was fortunate to bowl to Gautam bhaiyya (former cricket batsman Gautam Gambhir). He was quite impressed with my bowling and gave me some learning. He also recommended the Eden Garden management to arrange a practice session for me the next year as well.”
“..The same year I also practiced with the Indian team at Eden Gardens in November 2017. It was a great opportunity for me. I was destined to share nets with the senior bowlers and interact with them.”
So far Aniket has practiced in three different IPL sessions and once with the team India. In 2018-19, he was picked up by a team in North East India for under-19. His performance was again up to the mark as per the composition of the other players. This year also he has played three practice matches with the KKR team which he marks as the boost in his career.
As currently, the Indian team in England is eyeing for another World Cup win, Aniket is looking forward to the prestigious ‘Ranji Trophy’.
With a smile on his face, Aniket says, “There are a few teams who are in sync with me for Ranji and trying to sign me up for the squad this season. I am confident enough to get a place in the squad. There is the contribution of many people in my life so far, but my mom has always been the most supportive of all.” Aniket is also pursuing his B.Tech 4th year.