If father was alive, he would have been happiest: Mukesh Kumar addresses after national call-up

Kumar has not played for any Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise yet, so his name was not known to many.

Ritesh PathakAuthor

Updated - 03 October 2022 05:45 PM

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The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Sunday announced the squad for India’s upcoming ODI series against South Africa. As expected, Shikhar Dhawan was named the captain of the side that had non-T20 World Cup faces. While there were no out-of-the-box picks for the three 50-over games, there were a few faces that got a maiden national call-up. 

West Bengal all-rounder Shahbaz Ahmed and pacer Mukesh Kumar have been called up to the national side after their impressive domestic runs. While Ahmed has been in the scheme of things for a while as he is also a part of India’s T20I squad against South Africa, Mukesh Kumar’s name popping up was a surprise. 

Kumar has not played for any Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise yet, so his name was not known to many. But those who follow domestic cricket know that the pacer has been doing a phenomenal job for West Bengal in First-Class cricket. Kumar is Bengal’s lead pacer and opens the attack with the new ball. His ability to move the ball both ways and consistency in line and length set him apart from others. 

Now, as the pacer got a maiden call-up, he could not believe it. The 28-year-old said in an interview after his selection that he did not know about his selection until he was added to the Indian team’s WhatsApp group. He then talked about the emotions he and his family felt. Kumar also revealed how his father would have felt, has he been alive. 

"I got very emotional. It was all blur. I could only remember my father late Kashi Nath Singh's face. My father till I played Ranji Trophy for Bengal didn't think I am good to do well professionally. Unko Shaq thaa ki main kaabil hoon bhi ya nahi," Mukesh was quoted saying by PTI. Notably, Kumar lost his father to a brain stroke and it was before the Ranji finals. He would train in the morning and then spent time beside his father's hospital bed.

"Today my mom had tears in her eyes. She was so emotional. Everyone at home started crying," said the man from Gopalganj district in Bihar. 

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