Chandigarh cycle mechanic’s son in UAE cricket team

March 3rd, 2009 - 2:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, March 3 (IANS) Poverty and lack of opportunities forced aspiring cricketer Ravi Varma to leave his home here in 2004 and go to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). After years of juggling a job at an Abu Dhabi car rental shop with playing for a local cricket team, he has now been chosen for the Gulf nation’s official squad.
“I have no words to express my happiness. Ravi playing international cricket is a dream come true for all of us. We are praying that he will help his team win all the matches,” Ravi’s father Kishori Lal, who runs a small cycle repair shop, told IANS.

“We got the news that my husband will play for the UAE national cricket team on Saturday. It is the result of his determination and hard work,” said a beaming Manju, Ravi’s wife.

Ravi, who once played for a cricket club in Chandigarh, was dejected after being continuously ignored by selectors despite his outstanding performance at the district level.

Finally, succumbing to family pressure, he left for the UAE. He joined a local cricket club and was picked for the national team due to his consistent performance.

“My son was mad about cricket and wanted to represent India in the World Cup. But our family’s financial condition did not allow him to continue with the sport. Many times I told him to leave cricket and find some work,” said Kishori Lal.

“He went to the UAE in search of work but continued his practice. Right from the day he landed there he had his aim clear - to get into the national team,” he added.

Ravi, a right-hand batsman and off-spinner, will represent the UAE against Bermuda in South Africa in April in the World Cup-qualifying match.

“I still can’t believe that my husband is going to represent some other country in the international circuit. We are all very happy and are eager to meet him. We spoke to him on the phone, right now he is busy with practice sessions,” said Manju.

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