“We took a lot of pride from visiting Asian Games village”- Ruturaj Gaikwad

India will play Nepal in their quarterfinal match on Tuesday.

Ruturaj Gaikwad | XIndia men’s cricket team captain for the Asian Games, Ruturaj Gaikwad spoke about how visiting the games village provided them with a different perspective. He said that it felt different to them as athletes from other disciplines have to wait 2-3 years for such an event, unlike cricket.

He added that meeting the athletes at games village made them understand what it means to represent India and how it has made the team more focused on winning the gold medal like their women’s counterparts.

In cricket, we have the World Cup, the IPL and domestic tournaments. We are used to that kind of environment and situation. But coming here and going to the village, we got to know about the athletes — what kinds of struggle they go through.

Hardly (in) 2-3 years or four years (that) they get an opportunity to play for the country and represent it. We took a lot of pride from yesterday’s visit (to the Games’ village) and got to know how special it is — we do know but it just reflected a little bit more to represent the country,” he told reporters.

Ruturaj Gaikwad and his men have been seen cheering for Indian athletes in different sports. They cheered the hockey team when India's men defeated Pakistan by 10-2. They had also cheered the badminton players as well. Gaikwad said the Indian players cherished watching other athletes in action.

‘Dhoni’s style is different, I will try to be myself’: Ruturaj Gaikwad on his captaincy ahead of India’s Asian Games campaign

He said: “It was a great chance to see our country play various sports such as badminton, tennis or even hockey. It was a matter of great pride. We enjoyed a lot cheering for our team. Participating in the Asian Games is a big opportunity and a matter of great pride for all these players. I am really looking forward to this tournament. Coming to the Asian Games, everyone is eager to win the gold for the country and stand up on the podium.”

India will take on Nepal on Tuesday and the skipper is not worried about the ground dimensions at Hangzhou.

Everyone, throughout their careers, be it domestic or anything (else), has gone through such dimensions on the cricket ground and I think they are all used to it. Growing up, usually played on this kind of grounds and even (in) local cricket, many games, more than 100 games on these kinds of grounds. I am sure everyone is used to it and will adapt,” the Indian captain added.

Ruturaj also highlighted how the volunteers have approached them and asked for autographs.

A really cute gesture from them because I don’t think they use or know ahout our career personally. Just knowing that you are something big in your country and they just come and ask for the autographs for whatever it is. It has been a beautiful experience throughout the time we have been here,” he said.

(Times of India inputs)


By Jatin Sharma - 02 Oct, 2023

    Share Via