Interview of Cricket Fans – 41 – Rohit Sharma

Thank you so much for your participation in this interview, tell us your memories of watching Cricket growing up. 

First of all, thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to express myself, I’m really grateful and honoured.

Cricket has always been in my family as both my grandfather and father are ardent cricket fans. I remember my father telling me that I used to come running to watch matches, even at late night when I was just 3 years old. 

My earliest memory would be the 2007 T20 World Cup final. I still remember me sitting right in front of my TV, on the floor with crossed fingers. That match is even more special because that was the first innings of Rohit I watched and now he has come a long way. Though I’ve been watching continuously from then, I mostly followed team India’s matches. The 2011 World cup, yet another iconic one. I was in my 5th grade and staying up late night in a dark room, low volume on TV, controlling my screams because people in the house were sleeping, those memories are still fresh in my mind. After that, I started following other matches as well.
Whenever I feel sad or low, I’d just watch a match and that would instantly bring a smile on my face. That’s one thing that has not changed since the day I started following cricket.

When was the first time you watched Rohit Sharma bat? And when was the first time you actually started following him and his career?

As I said before, the final of 2007 T20 World Cup was the first time I watched Rohit play. Since that match, he has been my favourite. I was 6-7 years old then & only faintly remember his performances for the next few years but I clearly remember him struggling in the midst of few injuries.

Rohit Sharma’s batting career started off really well as he was a part of the 2007 World T20 squad and performed well in South Africa, then he went to Australia in 2008 and performed well there too, but then he just couldn’t make it to the squad for the 2011 World Cup, must have been tough for him.

Yes, when he couldn’t make it into the 2011 WC squad, I was so disappointed and that’s when I realized I’ve become his fan. It is his dream to win the World Cup and being left out from the squad would’ve surely hurt him, though he came back with a bang later on. I’d say injuries at crucial times were a roadblock for his career.

And then came the masterstroke of MS Dhoni where he promoted the Mumbai lad to the opening spot, and rest is history as they say.

I remember he was not having a good time and was waiting for some magic to happen. That’s when the news of Champions Trophy 2013 came and I was so happy to see his name in the squad.

I never expected but that magic happened so soon when he was promoted by MS Dhoni to open the innings in Champions Trophy 2013. When I heard of the news of him opening, it was quite surprising but from then it has been an extraordinary journey both for him and me as a fan.

Rohit Sharma and double centuries are a match made in heaven. Share your memories of each of the 200 that he scored in ODI’s.

To be honest, I didn’t have the chance to watch all of his three double hundreds live on television. During the first two I was in school and for the third, I had college.

The first one against Australia is my most favourite innings of him because it’s only after that people realized what a phenomenal player he is, which also fetched him the name “Hitman”. I feel it’s with that innings he told the world what he’s capable of and sealed a place for him in the team, though he has played a few crucial knocks before.

The 264 against Sri Lanka came at a very unexpected time. I wasn’t even expecting him in that match because he missed the first three due to an injury and when I hurried back home from school and switched on the TV I honestly thought 264 was team India’s total. Only after a minute, I realized it was Ro’s score and he made a World record!!! I literally had goosebumps all over and tears in my eyes.

By the time he scored the third one, I was in college and thankfully had my phone with me. When I checked for the score in the evening I literally dropped my phone and screamed, people around gave a weird look to me. But I couldn’t care less because I had been waiting desperately for a third double century since a long time and it was even more special as it was on the day his anniversary :”)
Though I’ve watched the highlights of them for uncountable times now, I’ll always regret not watching any of them live. Also, I’m waiting for a day when he would score a triple hundred!

5 centuries in 9 matches for India in the World Cup, that is a huge statement, isn’t it?

It’s really, really huge but he made it look very easy. I had an intuition that he’d have a good campaign but this was phenomenal. Also, I won’t lie, I was expecting a double hundred with the form he was in.
It was his dream and still is to lift that World cup and it was clear that he was determined to do it this time but unfortunately, even after giving his very best, it will still remain as a dream. But I’m sure he’s going to make it happen for the country and himself.

There is only format where he has failed to establish himself because of various reasons, what according to you is the reason why he hasn’t quite made a mark in Tests yet?

It all started with the injury he got in the morning of the day he was expected to make debut in tests in 2011. Only after two years, he got the chance again. He started off really well with a 177 on his debut. After that, I personally feel he hasn’t played much of test matches in comparison to ODIs and T20s. And initially, he played in the middle order and its just recently that he got promoted as an opener. So I believe he has just started his test career fresh and new, and I’m certain we’re going to see a lot of records being broken in the whites like he has been doing in the blue jersey.

And now Rohit Sharma has been awarded Khel Ratna for his excellency in 2019 World Cup for India, your message to him.

From not making it to the 2011 World Cup squad to getting India’s highest sporting honour- The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award for his exceptional performance in the World Cup 2019, he surely has been working hard and proving his worth. For me personally, the journey of being his fan is an emotional one as I’ve followed him from the days he struggled to now when he has reached the pinnacle of success. I just want to tell him that I am so proud of how he has battled through his failures and has risen like a Phoenix every time he was pulled down. He could’ve given up easily but he chose to fight against all the odds and that never give up attitude is something that inspires me a lot. I’m sure he’s going to keep making us, our team and the country proud.

Did you get a chance to meet Rohit Sharma?

The answer to this question is No but I just want to share a few opportunities I got but unfortunately missed over the period of last 4 years.
I got my first opportunity to meet him on 23rd May 2017 through Adidas Cricket. I couldn’t go there as I had my college admissions around that time. I was informed that I’ll be a part of a video where a few people would wish him luck for the World Cup but Rohit came there surprising everyone. After missing out on that, I never expected I’d get one again at all.
But to my surprise, I got an even bigger opportunity of celebrating his birthday with him in 2019 from the Mumbai Indians. This time, the moment I got to know this I knew I won’t be able to make it because I was on my internship and breaking that, even for a day was not possible at all. But I tried my best in convincing my dad which only went in vain after a lot of yelling and crying. I lost my second, a very special and precious chance of meeting him. Also, that is when I stopped praying for a chance to meet him because I felt I simply don’t deserve it anymore.

But again, I got my third chance to meet him virtually on a video call this year on his birthday. This time I thought nothing could stop me from meeting him and I’d be able to tell him everything I’ve wanted to, all these years. I even sketched him and had written a poem on him, both for the very first time. I was totally nervous and even more excited, waiting for him to join. And when he did, I got goosebumps all over and couldn’t stop smiling like an idiot. I was luckily the first one to introduce myself to him but if only I had *luck* in my life. Just after 3 minutes and 40 seconds of being on call with him, I missed it again for the third time and this time the villain was the audio on my device. I had some audio issues that I couldn’t hear him talk nor he could hear me. This time it hurt me more because I was SO close in making it happen but it just didn’t. But I’m really thankful to the Mumbai Indians social media team for considering me deserving to get two precious opportunities.

I honestly don’t know if I would get one more opportunity and I feel it isn’t right to accept even if I get one. But, if at all I’m destined to meet him, I’m sure I will and I am ready to wait for however long it takes. 🙂 Until then, sailing with a little hope and the NEVER GIVE UP attitude that I learnt from the man himself.

Thank You Pratyush for this comment on my previous post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s