Bhiwani,a dusty village in the heart of Haryana was put on the world map by the boxing trio Akhil Kumar,Vijender Kumar and Jitender Kumar courtesy their performances at the Beijing Olympics.
While boxing is not just the goal but the single-most sought after means to earning the daily bread in Bhiwani,rising through this pro-pugilist crowd is Deepak Chaudhary a budding fast bowler and the latest recruit in the Wasim Akram-backed Gatorade Pace Academy in the Capital.
Bhiwani is famous for its boxers,but I always wanted to be a cricketer Chaudhary told Sportline. Though he may not have pursued a career in boxing,Chaudhary is built like one. Standing at more than six feet,he regularly trains with the boxers and gives them due credit for his physique and fitness.
Back home,we do not have separate facilities for different sports. I train with Akhil (Kumar) and Vijender (Kumar). Training with them is a rigorous routine which is also an added benefit for my bowling, the 20-year old said.
Clocking a speed of 131 kmph at the age of 18 in 2007,Chaudhary made the judges at a talent hunt take notice. With three categories fastest u-17 bowler,fastest u-19 bowler and fastest professional bowler to compete for,Chaudharys speed gun reading won him the 2008 edition of the talent hunt at the professional level.
I travelled to Delhi to take part in the selections. Winning the talent hunt gave me the opportunity to learn at the MRF pace academy in Chennai.
Chaudhary spent the next two years training under the watchful eye of TA Sekar and Dennis Lillee. The experience had a lasting effect on the student. It was great to be there. I got to learn so much. Sekar sir corrected my elbow and my wrist action to perfection. He is the best bowling coach I have worked with and I am overjoyed to be working with him again,Chaudhary said.
With TA Sekar roped in as the bowling-technique coach and Wasim Akram as the chief coach,Chaudhary didn’t have to think twice enroll.
I cannot wait to get tips from Wasim bhai. Learning under him is going to be a dream come true, the pacer said. Having been a part of the Haryana squad at the Under-17,Under-19 and Under-22 levels and also having represented North Zone at the Under-19 level,Chaudhary now hopes for a call-up from the selectors for the big league.
This stint at the pace academy should hopefully give me a good platform for the future. With a correct technique,I would love to bowl for my state in the upcoming Ranji Trophy and then hopefully one day,India.