Rajasthan Royals (RR) have found a great leader in the young Sanju Samson, who has been quite brilliant with the bat and also with the gloves in the IPL 2022. So far, he has amassed 298 runs in 10 matches at a strike rate of 153.61.
The 27-year-old was retained by the Royals ahead of the mega auctions for a whopping price tag of 14 crores. But Samson's success and fortune did not come easily. He, like every successful athlete, had to overcome his share of challenges and setbacks. He shed light on his journey in the latest episode of Breakfast with Champions.
Sanju began training in Delhi with his elder brother when he was five or six years old. However, when luck was not on their side, his father, who was a member of the Delhi Police football team, took a risk and decided to send them to Kerala.
“There's too much competition in Delhi as cricket is played at almost every corner. So we gave trials couple of times but it didn't work out so my father said we are from Kerala, and we will play from there."
"Suddenly in one month’s time, we quit school and shifted to Kerala. My mom argued ‘let them pass 10th grade, who will give admission in Kerala?’ But my father remained firm on this decision,” Sanju said.
Sanju Samson and his brother struggled for a month or two to get into any of Trivandrum's schools before ultimately being accepted into St. Joseph School. The father who was in Delhi then joined the family in Kerala as Sanju made very little progress in cricket which also forced him to take voluntary retirement.
"After a couple of years when I didn’t play anything, he took voluntary retirement and moved to Kerala. He then started taking us out for practice in the morning and evening. We used to travel in a two-wheeler, it was a challenging phase but at that time our father and mother didn’t make us realize that we are struggling for you,” he further said.
“But when you've matured enough and understand a lot of things about different situations in the family, I realized it was a very bold decision by both of them and sacrificed a lot for us."
The wicketkeeper batter then recalled instances of getting ridiculed by people on the streets.
"When we were playing in Delhi, my mother and father would carry our kit bags to the bus stand as it was heavy. People use to ridicule us from behind by calling, 'oye Sachin aur uske papa mummy ja rahe hai, Bhai yeh banega Tendulkar’,” he added.
“So my parents actually have faced many such moments.”
Samson so far has played for India in 1 ODI and 13 T20Is and is considered one of India’s brightest future prospects. In his IPL career, he has played 131 matches and scored 3366 runs at an average of 29.53.