Dad: Remove your pads and go bowl! That’s how batsman Anjdeep Lad became Mumbai’s Promising Swing Bowler!
The beauty of Mumbai lies in the story of every comman man and his struggles to reach where they are. Yes Mumbai is the city of dreams but no one knows that in this city of dreams, you have to slog it out to make it big. 19yr old swing bowler from Mumbai, Anjdeep Lad who has played for Mumbai U19, Mumbai U23, Parsee Gymkhana and Aakash Tigers in T20 Mumbai so far with best performances of 7/117 vs Madhya Pradesh in Cooch Behar Trophy, 5/64 vs Andhra Pradesh in CK Nayudu Trophy, 5/28 vs Tripura in CK Nayudu Trophy & 5/45 vs Sind Sports Club in Kanga League A Division is one such example of a hard working boy making a name for himself in Cricket. Anjdeep shared his emotional story with Cricketgraph and we are sure most of the readers will find it touching.
Anjdeep shared “My first cricket coach was my father- Ajay Lad, he infused the love of Cricket into me, made me fall for the game. My dad really wanted me to play cricket & started off by making me bat first, I started playing with a season ball when I was 4 & then came Sulakshan Kulkarni Sir whom i met in 2015. Kulkarni sir has also been a huge turning point in my career.
Anjdeep started playing cricket at the age of 4 as a batsman where his father would put in hours during the weekend and both would practice at Navy Nagar. Anjdeep who is now a recognized swing bowler did not started off as a bowler back then in his early days!
When Cricketgraph asked him to elaborate more on his growing up days, Anjdeep said-
In 2013, i used to bowl a bit, just as a part timer though but I was always told by my school coaches back then Rishi Mayekar and Salil Babar sir that i was fairly quicker than the other bowlers and my dad being a fast bowler himself who has played for the Western Naval command & the Inter Services Tournaments saw that I had a fair bit of pace too!
So came 2014, during a summer Vacation Camp Selection, dad came and told me to remove my pads, take the spikes and go bowl. I turned out to be the quickest in my center. That’s when I took up bowling seriously. That’s where my main attribute i.e pace bowling took shape. I really can’t thank Dad enough for that spontaneous decision he made which changed my career. I wasn’t really a good batsman with just a few scores here and there but when it came to pace bowling, I was making a mark in the U16’s. Then obviously another turning point was when I met Sulakshan Kulkarni Sir. Before that, I really was a bowler who was fairly quick who just came in and bowled. But with the time I had at his nets, his practice tours, i started to pick up a few things from his vast experience and he actually changed my attitude towards cricket. Kulkarni sir bought upon a huge change in my mentality as a cricketer & that was very very important. He made me believe that I had a something special about my bowling & that made me really confident. I remember he said once that you will play for Mumbai very soon, and the very next year i made my debut for Mumbai U19 in 2016.
When we asked him whether he faced any struggles as a teenager, Anjdeep further shared with us-
Before I actually made my Mumbai U19 debut, things weren’t really that easy. There was a time when I just wasn’t getting picked in certain places. Sometimes not performing but that’s a part and parcel of the game. But the worst time I had in my life was back in 2016. I had played for Mumbai U19 in the One-Dayers but did not perform enough in the U19 Selection tournament and was subsequently dropped from the Cooch Behar team. That’s when a huge bomb was dropped on me. Adding more worries to my woes-my dad was diagnosed with stomach cancer stage III advanced. He was in the hospital most of the times going through operations. I was in the standbys at that time & the uncertainty of what would happen next would completely weigh me down. My dad’s degrading health, me just not being in the team. I didn’t know where things were going, where things were leading too. It was a really really tough phase but I got through it thankfully. Unfortunately dad didn’t, he passed away in April 2017 just a week before I left for my Zonal Camp. Today I am playing more to complete my dad’s dream of seeing me as successful cricketer than anything else in the world.
There are many people I am thankful for in this journey but one of them and the most important one is my 1st coach-my dad. He gave me a reason to live for, to strive for, to work hard for cricket. That’s the best gift any dad could ever give a child. A clear path to follow, dad put in hours of hardwork into me, i just wished he was here to see everything I have achieved till now. I am even grateful to my coach Sulakshan Kulkarni Sir and my mother for standing there with me through all the tough times she’s been through. I also want to convey a big thank you to Rohit Bhalla sir who helped me alot with practice during my tough phase between 2010-2014.
When asked on his further goals, Anjdeep shared:
My Ultimate Goal is to play Test Cricket for India but short term goals is to break into the Ranji Trophy Side soon.
Let’s wish the young man all the luck for a great career ahead as he has certainly made his dad, his coach, his mother and everyone related to him proud at such a young age.