13 Indian cricketing success stories from rags to riches
A success story is what we all look up to. It’s truly amazing to know about the struggle of some of the most renowned personalities in the country. In the world of cricket there are such individuals who hail from the most remote and backward places in the country. These people have faced poverty first-hand and have lived their lives facing harsh realities. But it didn’t stop them from achieving their dreams and making their existence worth it.
Here are 13 such individuals from the world of cricket as per cricket sports update:
- Kedar Jadhav
Kedar Jadhav, an Indian middle-order batting prodigy, has risen from obscurity to build a name for himself. He was from Madha, a tiny town in Maharashtra’s Solapur region. His father worked as a clerk for the Maharashtra State Electricity Board. Jadhav had three exceptionally meritorious elder sisters.
However, the cricketer did not find his passion in school and dropped out after the ninth grade. From then, he gradually progressed through the ranks, first playing in Maharashtra’s Ranji squad and then earning significant IPL pay packages for his outstanding domestic achievements. His fantasies became a reality when he walked onto the pitch in the Indian jersey.
- Thangarasu Natarajan
The Kings XI Punjab franchise purchased Thangarasu Natarajan for Rs. 3 crores, making him the season’s second-most expensive domestic. He is the son of a daily wage labourer at a saree factory with a little tea stall on the side. Natarajan played cricket only to win cash rewards at local tennis ball events.
Natarajan was picked by the legendary Jolly Rovers team of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association League when he was in his 20s and was also invited to join the state Ranji team. Thanks to his precise performance over periods as a pacer, Natarajan’s success story is nothing short of a miracle.
- Nathu Singh
Nathu Singh was signed by the Mumbai Indians for over 3 crores in the 9th edition of the IPL. Since Singh was the son of a factory worker and grew up in Rajasthan. He said, “He realised that his dreams will come true when he bowled with the pink ball in a Duleep Trophy match and became the only Indian bowler to take 5 wickets.”
He then caught the attention of the IPL team Mumbai Indians and Gujarat Lions later acquired him for the IPL 10 season. It is from this effort that Singh gets constant motivation, as he tells it in his own words, “I have all of the images in my heart.”
- Mohammed Siraj
Coming from a lower-middle-class family, 23-year-old Mohammed Siraj never anticipated in his wildest dreams that he’d cause a sensation in the 2017 IPL player auction. His first paycheck as a cricketer was Rs. 500 from a club match in which he took nine wickets for 20 runs in a 25-over game.
His maternal uncle had given him the cash as a prize. Siraj praises his parents for making numerous sacrifices to provide him with basic cricketing gear.
In his own words, he “went numb” in front of his TV after receiving a whopping Rs. 2.6 crore bid from the Sunrisers Hyderabad team.
- Mahendra Singh Dhoni
MS Dhoni was born into a low-income family and is from a family of 5. MS Dhoni’s life story has been complex. Nonetheless, his journey to a globally renowned cricket career can undoubtedly inspire any aspiring cricket fan. Furthermore, Dhoni achieved history by becoming the first skipper to win all three ICC competitions: the World Cup, the Champions Trophy, and the Twenty20 World Cup.
Time magazine named Dhoni among the top 100 “Most Influential People in the World.” Aside from that, SportsPro ranked Dhoni as the world’s 16th most lucrative athlete. MS Dhoni’s net worth is estimated to be approximately 113 million in 2022.
- Hardik Pandya
Everyone knows Hardik Pandya and his achievements. Whether it was his heroics in the Champions Trophy final against Pakistan or his brave knocks for his team, Mumbai Indians, in the IPL, the young player has carved out a niche for himself in a relatively short period.
His life is perhaps the most bizarre rags-to-riches narrative imaginable. Hardik and his brother, Krunal, both aspired to play at the highest level of cricket. In an interview, Hardik admitted that he and his brother frequently survived on a single serving of noodles throughout the day while playing one round after another to earn money.
- Munaf Patel
Munaf Patel, a young man from Gujarat’s remote village of Ikhar, saw poverty firsthand. He was well-known within his town for his fast bowling, but due to adversity, he lacked the resources to play cricket at a pro level. Patel’s life improved after he was chosen for the Baroda Club. He later received instruction from renowned fast bowler Dennis Lillee at the MRF Pace Academy.
Against all odds, Patel earned his India debut in 2006 and became a successful bowler for the country. He also played in the 2011 World Cup, finishing as the tournament’s third-highest wicket-taker with 11 wickets.
- Yusuf Pathan and Irfan Pathan
Because of their tremendous cricketing ability, the Pathan brothers are well-known to practically every current cricket fan. Both brothers have played in historical times in Indian cricket. But their early life was far from blissful! Because they did not own a home, the Pathan family initially had to spend their days in a mosque.
They couldn’t afford appropriate cricketing equipment because their father, who served in the local mosque, earned only Rs 200-250. Yusuf claimed the 2011 World Cup trophy with the Indian team, while Irfan was a member of the triumphant Indian side in the World T20 in 2007 and the Champions Trophy in 2013.
- Ramesh Powar
Ramesh Powar, an off-spinner who was frequently made fun of for having a stocky build and was regarded as unfit to play cricket. But he defied all odds to make a name for himself in Indian cricket.
Powar had a difficult life because his mother died while he was young. His sister was his biggest fan throughout his initial playing days. He played for India in two Tests and 31 One-Day Internationals, taking six and 34 wickets each.
- Zaheer Khan
Regarding stalwart pacers who have performed for India, Zaheer Khan is at the top of the list. Apart from Kapil Dev, Zaheer is the sole Indian bowler to have taken upwards of 300 wickets in world cricket.
Zaheer grew up loving cricket, and after being chosen by the Mumbai Cricket Club. He had to move away from home and live with his aunt in Mumbai. He oversaw the Indian pacers for over 15 years and is a name that will live on in Indian cricket.
- Ravindra Jadeja
Ravindra Jadeja’s rise from humble beginnings to fame and success is reminiscent of a fairytale. Jadeja was at the end of his wits when his mother died in 2005, and he considered quitting cricket.
However, his sister and father continued to support him with emotional and financial support. Jaddu played in the 2008 World Cup, India won in U-19, and he also served as vice-captain. After securing a spot in the Indian squad as a reliable all-rounder, he persuaded his father to quit and purchased a house for his family.
- Mohammad Shami
Mohammed Shami’s path as an Indian speed master is highly inspirational. Shami’s skill was initially noticed by his father Tousif Ali, who was a fast bowler in his youth. Shami was born in the rural setting of Uttar Pradesh. Shami moved to Calcutta in 2006 to chase his dream of playing for his nation. From earning only Rs. 500 every match to staying in the club tent. He has battled against all odds.
He now not only owns a magnificent apartment and a high-end automobile, but he also recognizes and adheres to his humble beginnings. The 32-year-old cricketer has significantly contributed to his home hamlet’s development.
- Umesh Yadav
Umesh Yadav, an Indian bowler, had to overcome adversity as the child of a coal miner before making it big. Furthermore, Yadav had no intention of becoming a cricketer. Yadav never looked back after being persuaded by a friend to give a leather ball a try when playing cricket at the age of 20. He was playing for India when he was just 22. He was bought for nearly 3.5 crores at the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction in 2011. Yadav has developed into one of the pace department’s most reliable pillars.
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