Chennai: Washington Sundar, the 18-year-old lad from Chennai, had a phenomenal U-19 World Cup and IPL season this year. He has been drafted in Team India for T20 series against Sri Lanka. A happy Washington Sundar, says, “I just want to bowl and perform well and win a game for my country. That would be my utmost aim.”
“More than me, my parents are really happy because any parent would want their son to go places in his life. Obviously at this stage if I’m able to reach the top playing for India, they would be really happy,” says Washington Sundar.
My family encouraged me and suppported me a lot, he adds. “I am lucky” An elated Washington Sundar, says, “It’s a great feeling. Like I said, at such an age not many would get opportunities. I think I’m really lucky and I’m happy about it. “I am just preparing, working hard, trusting my preparation and enjoying every time I step into the field. I think I wantto do the same even now because I got a call-up at such a young age. I don’t want to doanything different now, I just want to stick to the things I’ve been doing from the time I started playing cricket
How he cleared yo-yo Test
Washington revealed that it was a huge challenge to clear the yo-yo test. “I kind of had it at the back of my mind that I might be called up, I had that belief,” he noted.
“I didn’t really do anything different. I had just been working harder on my conditioning. After I failed, I went back and I just wanted to work even harder on this aspect especially and cleared it couple of days back.
Tough battle against Aussies
The all-rounder has already had a taste of international cricket when he turned up for Board President’s XI recently against an Australian side that had thelikes of David Warner, Steven Smith and Glenn Maxwell.
“They are all greats of the game. For an off-spinner it’s a challenge to bowl against players Smith and Maxwell who want to play their shots, he observed. “It was a challenge for me but I think the game went well for me and I gained some experience from whatever I bowled in that game.”
‘All credit to Steve Smith’
Washington Sundar thanked the Australian skipper and the RPS management for backing him during the IPL this year. “Not many captains would play an off-spinner for 11 consecutive games,’ Washington remarked. “We have seen very few captains do that in the IPL level. He has shown a lot of belief in me. He threw the ball to me in the first six overs a lot of times. I’m very lucky and thankful to him and the management. Getting an opportunity at such a big stage at this level I really owe a lot to the management and the captain.
Washington’s father Sundar in a recent interview, said, “I am a Hindu and come from a very humble family. Twostreets away from my home in Triplicane lived an ex-army man called P.D. Washington. He was extremely fond of cricket and would come to watch us play at the Marina ground. He took a liking for my game.”
The 18-year-old’s rise has been phenomenal ever since he fi rst made headlines during the Under-19 World Cup last year. He made a huge impact in the IPL earlier this year for Rising Pune Supergiant, had a fantastic outing in his debut Duleep Trophy match picking up 11 wickets and scoring a fi fty, and then followed it up by topping the batting charts in the Tamilnadu Premier League.
“I was poor and he would buy uniform for me, pay my school fee, get me books, take me to the ground in his cycle and constantly encourage me,” Sundar added. Sundar, who himself was a cricketer and had made it to th Ranji team probables, said that to him the former army officer was everything.
And he was the happiest man when he managed to impress selectors. Sundar’s first son was born a few months later after Washington passed away. “As a mark of respect to him, I bnamed my son after him.