Updated: September 10, 2021 11:57:14 am
As Chandigarh all-rounder and now USA cricketer 31-year-old Jaskaran Malhotra became only the second cricketer after South Africa’s Herschelle Gibbs to hit six sixes in an over in an ODI during his unbeaten knock of 173 runs against Papua New Guinea in the second match of the ODI series being played at Al Amerat Cricket ground in Oman.
Jaskaran’s parents, Jaswinder Malhotra and Navdeep Malhotra, were cheering for their son from his home in Morrsiville, North Carolina, USA. The Malhotras, who run a business in Sector 21, Chandigarh, had gone to USA after the birth of Jaskaran’s second child earlier this year and it was celebration time for the Malhotras, including Jaskaran’s wife Preti, as they also cheered for his maiden ODI century.
Jaskaran hit six sixes off bowler Gaudi Toka in the 50th over of USA’s innings. He hit 16 sixes and four boundaries. His record of 16 sixes was one short of England batsman Eoin Morgan earlier record of 17 sixes in an ODI.
“Jaskaran had moved to USA to play cricket in 2014 and his passion for the game has seen him playing for different clubs in USA before he made his international debut in 2019. He had told us that he will do something special in this series and when he came to bat at the score of 29 for 3, we were praying for him. To see him hit his maiden ODI hundred and to smash six sixes in an over by the grace of god is one of the special moments for all of us,” said 61-year-old Jaswinder Malhotra while talking with The Indian Express.
During his days as a cricketer in India, Jaskaran had captained the Himachal Pradesh U-19 team apart from being part of the Indian U-19 camp before h3 decided to shift to USA. The cricketer initially played for some local clubs before taking up the position of a coach at KYC Youth Academy, Houston apart from working as batting coach for Houston Cricket Academy. Malhotra was USA’s lead scorer in CWI Super50 Tournament in Antigua in 2019 and made his T20I debut against UAE at Dubai in 2019 followed by his ODI debut against Papua New Guinea at Windhoek, Namibia. The 31-year-old had played in four ODIs and six T20I before this series, and was dropped from the team last year before he made his return for this series.
Younger brother Sahib Malhotra, who is playing league cricket for the Centurion Cricket Club in Toronto, Canada, too was following Thursday’s match and remembers his conversations with Jaskaran after he was dropped earlier. “Last year, Jaskaran had to move from New York to Morrsiville as he was assigned by USA cricket to impart training to young cricketers. It was a tough time as we saw a lot of Covid cases in USA and it worried us. But we knew that it was Jaskaran’s passion. After he was dropped from USA team, we had a lot of discussions as I also played in middle order. He has made a transition from opener to middle-order batsman with ease and captaining the Morrsiville Cardinals in Minor League cricket also helped him. Last year, he could not attend my marriage in India due to the Covid restrictions but to see him score his first ODI hundred has made me forget that (laughs),” shared Sahib.
Earlier this year in May, Jaskaran had played a knock of 270 runs off 86 balls in Titan Cup Division I league and coach Nagesh Gupta, under whom Jaskaran has been training since the start of his career, sees Thursday’s knock as an important knock in his career. “When Jaskaran visited India in 2019, we worked upon his batting against spinners as well the moving ball. We had discussions every month and I told him to concentrate on spending some time as a middle order batsman and go for his shots once well set. That’s what he did today,” said Gupta.
As for father Jaswinder, he wants to see his son playing in IPL someday and also in ICC World Cup. “It’s his passion which keeps him going. We hope to see him play in IPL someday and also help USA qualify for ICC World Cup through the qualifiers,” shared the proud father.
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