After winning the U-16 cricket tournament at the 57th National School Games,Punjab all-rounder Anmolpreet Singh and left-arm spinner Rahul Gothwal are over the moon.
Rahul emerged as the highest wicket taker with 15 dismissals while Anmolpreet scored the maximum 210 runs in five matches during the tournament. Both fashioned their team to an easy win in the final with Rahul taking a hattrick and Anmolpreet scoring 52 runs.
Incidentally,these two have sportsmen fathers. Thirteen-year-old Anmolpreets father is former national handball player Satwinderpreet Singh while Rahuls dad Shrichand was a national hockey player.
The cricket bug bit Anmolpreet when he was six. Instead of following his fathers footsteps,he tried to emulate his elder cousins,who were cricketers in Patiala. Talking to Newsline,Anmolpreet,a trainee at MES Academy,said,I always fancied playing cricket with my cousins and friends during my childhood. Luckily my father never imposed anything on me. I want to make a mark in cricket. It is commendable that I have someone at home who was an international player,and I too want to earn that feat,but in cricket.
All-rounder Anmolpreet bats up the order and also bowls effective off-breaks. He was selected in the India U-16 camp in Bangalore last year under former Indian great Sandeep Patil. He has been doing well for Punjab at the junior domestic level. His father,a Sub-Inspector with Punjab Police,was thrilled about his sons achievement. It would have been nice if my son had opted for handball but I am not at all disappointed with his choice of sport. I am proud of him and want to help him achieve his dream of representing India one day, he said.
In times,when spinners prefer quicker deliveries to avoid getting hit out of the attack,Rahuls exceptional flighted deliveries fool batsmen in the air.
Recalling Rahuls younger days,his father said,Cricket is a popular sport these days. Children are easily exposed to cricket,as compared to other sports. I could not play for India in hockey due to tough competition. I always thought,maybe my son would do so when he grows up. But Rahul was a natural cricketer. I support him and encourage him to be a better cricketer.
Rahuls father works in Life Insurance Company and used to play for PEPSU in his hockey days.
Rahul who idolises,New Zealand spinner Daniel Vettori,and trains at DMW Academy in Patiala,said,I am in love with cricket. Although I started to play cricket just two years back,it seems I was born to roll my fingers on the cricket ball. I want to work hard on my game and eventually become a useful spinner.
As far as todays win is concerned,we are all going to party tonight, he said.