A light at the end of pandemic for Subodh Bhati

While the pandemic shut doors on some, it opened the passage for Subodh, whose double hundred in a T20 competition made the headlines.

Swati Bhatia Editor

Updated - 10 July 2021 9:58 am

“A dream can become reality with sweat, determination, and hard work”

But sometimes one factor can become an obstacle in the path of success and slow down the process– Luck. In a world full of competitions, a great talent needs luck to go on the top. Something similar can be said about the talented cricketer Subodh Bhati, who despite performing consistently at the domestic level, was not getting his due. But while the pandemic shut doors on some, it opened the passage for Subodh, whose double hundred in a T20 competition made the headlines.

Fun fact, this was Subodh’s second double-century in a T20 game. His first double ton came in 2018 in a club tournament in Goa.

Born and brought up in Modinagar, a city in Uttar Pradesh, Bhati picked up cricket professionally at the age of 18.

“I had no clue how to pursue playing professionally. I used to play cricket with Cosco [tennis ball] in my colony but later I was not allowed as they used to say I was big,” he revealed in an exclusive interview with SportsTiger.

Post high school, Bhati went for a trial in Ghaziabad, and he instantly impressed everyone. After playing club cricket in UP, Bhati moved to Rajasthan to move closer to his dream, however, luck had its own plan.

“I played in Rajasthan and was the highest wicket-taker for the team for three years but I wasn’t selected to play first-class because I was an outsider,” said Bhati.

However, once he shifted his base to Delhi, his career saw a steady rise. He played in the JP Atray Memorial cricket tournament and ended up as the highest wicket-taker.

He then played another cricket tournament for ONGC and his performance caught the eye of the club’s skipper Gautam Gambhir who then told Bhati, “Tu Delhi ke liye Khelega [you will play for Delhi]."

A bowling all-rounder or batting all-rounder?

Although Bhati’s fiery knock has shifted focus towards his batting, bowling remains his first love.

“My strength is my bowling. I enjoy bowling. I bowl at the death and I bat at crucial stages as well. I would say my interest is bowling and batting is my plus point," said the cricketer.

A cricketer with law degree

Bhati completed his law degree prior to his first-class debut. “I had to look for other career options. Unfortunately, we don’t have any central contracts, players like us are not paid enough and I had to ensure that I had a career to fall back to,” said Bhati.

Bhati also urged the BCCI to provide central contracts to players who play only limited-overs cricket and increase wages so that they can feel confident.

“If a player, who has a central contract gets injured, he will get his match fee despite not playing. But if players like us who also work throughout the year get injured, we will not get a single penny (and) all our hard work will go in vain.”

What’s next?

Bhati’s ultimate dream is to represent the country, but he wants to take one step at a time. His next focus is Mushtaq Ali Trophy where he wants to give his best and get a shot in IPL auction.

"I want to play in the IPL and I am working very hard." When asked which team he would like to play for, Bhati said – “Dhoni bhai ke leadership main khelna dream hai [It’s my dream to play under the leadership of Dhoni]."

He also picked RCB and said he wants to learn from Virat Kohli. In a witty manner, he added – “Mumbai bhi chalegi”[Mumbai will also work].

For now, Bhati is getting the limelight he deserved and hopefully next time he will give an interview in the yellow jersey.

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