Fear is not something that you would want a 17-year-old to feel but young Washington Sundar felt exactly that at one stage of his career. This was the start of 2017 and Sundar had just been dropped by Tamil Nadu and his future was uncertain.
Sundar talked about this recently in an interview given to Tim Wigmore and he said, “I honestly did fear a lot about how my life was going to be, how my career was going to be, where am I going to end up in the next five years? I did have a lot of fear.”
“I knew I had a couple of months to myself and I just went to the ground and just trained hard. I used to be there at least six to seven hours every day.”
Sundar finally got his big break when Rising Pune Supergiants drafted him in through the trials for the Indian Premier League season that year and Ravichandran Ashwin, their first choice, pulled out due to Sports Hernia.
Bowling to Steve Smith, MS Dhoni or Ben Stokes in the nets, Washington earned a contract and didn't look back. Been given the opportunity in the franchises' sixth game, he made his debut against the Sunrisers Hyderabad. Talking about this game, Sundar said, “I just wanted to enjoy the moment, and enjoy the crowd and the ground, and bowling to Warner, When I was looking at Warner, I was like, ‘Is he going to try to hit me every ball for six?’”
But Warner couldn't. This spurred Sundar on and he became the second most economical bowler of the tournament. His spells bowled in the crucial powerplay overs, helped RPS reach the final where they lost to Mumbai Indians by just 1 run. This, Washington says, turned his whole life around.
“It was kind of a turning point in my life… it did change a lot. Financially it did really help a lot, especially my family. And life has been going pretty smooth ever since.”
Having made his ODI debut against Sri Lanka in December, he was picked to play the Nidahas Trophy in March and his economy rate of less than 6 throughout the T20I triangular, won India another limited overs title.
“All the years I’ve been sharing a room with my sister, which is sometimes annoying, but yeah, some good fun also. But then being in a good room gives you some peace and gives some time for yourself. It’s just one bed and a PlayStation”.
“Modern cricketers, they don’t really get to be at home a long time. Those couple of months at home, that’s when the real happiness comes.”
Washington is young and has a long way to go but he is pleased, that the days of fear and uncertainty are way behind him.
(Inputs from Telegraph.co.uk)