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“Wish my father had been here”: Chetan Sakariya reacts to Maiden India call-up

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Rajasthan pacer Chetan Sakariya along with Hardik Pandya, Nitish Rana, K Gowtham, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan amongst others have been selected in the Indian cricket team to play in the T20 World Cup which is scheduled to be started in October.

The 23-year-old pacer Chetan who recently lost his younger brother who committed suicide and father Kanjibhai who contracted with COVID and passed away last month post IPL’14 suspension wished his father was alive to see him play for the country. Emotional Chetan remembered his father and said “I wish my father had been here to see this. He wanted me to play for India. I miss him a lot today. God has made me see ups and downs in a span of one year. It had been a very emotional ride so far”.

The 20-member India squad for the limited-overs series in Sri Lanka in July has five new faces. For the first time, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Devdutt Padikkal, Nitish Rana, K Gowtham and Chetan Sakariya have been picked to play for India, ostensibly with an eye to the T20 World Cup to be played in October-November. Shikhar Dhawan will lead the side and Bhuvneshwar Kumar will be his deputy for three ODIs and as many T20Is. It is learnt that Rahul Dravid will be the team’s coach.

Among the five new faces, Sakariya is the most captivating story. Over the last one year, his life has been on a roller-coaster. From losing his younger brother to earning a Rs 1.2 crore contract with Rajasthan Royals in the IPL and then the pain of his father’s death – the 23-year-old left-arm seamer from Saurashtra has had an emotional overload.

After the IPL was suspended in May, Sakariya rushed back home upon hearing that his father Kanjibhai contracted Covid and was admitted to the hospital. A week later, Kanjibhai breathed his last. Little wonder that Sakariya has dedicated his India call-up to his late father.

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