Chetan Sakariya Picture Credit: BCCI/IPL

Chetan Sakariya Picture Credit: BCCI/IPL

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced a 20-member squad for the limited-overs tour in Sri Lanka on Thursday. Plenty of youngsters received maiden India call-up for the tour which will see the side playing 3 ODIs and 3 T20Is. Ruturaj Gaikwad, Devdutt Padikkal, Nitish Rana, Krishnappa Gowtham and Chetan Sakariya have been picked to play for India for the first time. While Shikhar Dhawan has been handed over the responsibility to lead the side.

I wish my father had been here to see this: Sakariya

Rajasthan Royals youngster Chetan Sakariya recently lost his father due to COVID-19. Earlier, Sakariya’s brother had also passed away after he had committed suicide. After receiving his maiden India call-up, Sakariya dedicated his India call-up to his late father and his mother.

“I wish my father had been here to see this. He wanted me to play for India. I miss him a lot today. God has made me see ups and downs in a span of one year. It has been a very emotional ride so far,” Sakariya told The Indian Express from Chennai, where he is currently going through the drills at the MRF Pace Foundation.

“I lost my younger brother and a month later I got a big IPL contract. I lost my father last month, and god has handed me an India call-up. I was in the hospital for seven days when my father was battling for his life. This is an irreplaceable void. This one is for my late father and for my mother, who allowed me to continue with my cricket,” the youngster went on.

I never expected that I will straightaway be picked in main squad: Sakariya

The Saurashtra fast bowler further said that he had never expected that he will straightaway be picked in main squad. Even though his captain at Rajasthan Royals, Sanju Samson, was confident that Sakariya will be picked in the Indian squad sooner rather than later.

“The way people were talking about me after the IPL, I was thinking that now at least I have a chance to be a net bowler for the Indian team. I never expected that I will straightaway be picked in the main squad for Sri Lanka. Now it has happened, I will give my best,” he said.

“Sanju bhai was showing more confidence in me than anyone else. In fact, he told me during the IPL that the way I was bowling, an India cap wasn’t far away,” Sakariya concluded.

Before IPL 2021 was suspended midway, Sakariya had impressed massively with consistent performances. He had picked 7 wickets in 7 matches at a decent economy of 8.22 for Rajasthan Royals. The pacer had a debut to remember against Punjab Kings as he picked 3 wickets. He finished his spell with figures of 3/31 from his quota of four overs.

Former Indian opener Virender Sehwag had also heaped praise on Sakariya after his impressive debut. Sehwag shared the inspirational journey of Chetan and had termed him a ‘great prospect’ for the future.