A child prodigy, a sensation and now he is just a few weeks away from a potential India debut. Yes, we are talking about Ishan Kishan, the Patna-born cricketer, whose Saturday was more special than most. In the morning, the 22-year-old played a captain’s knock for Jharkhand and smashed 173 off just 94 balls in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. At around 9 pm in the evening, he got his maiden India call-up! Wasn’t it a super special Saturday for Kishan?
The news of Ishan Kishan, his Mumbai Indians teammate Suryakumar Yadav and all-rounder Rahul Tewatia making it to the T20I squad for 5 the matches against England, brought smiles on the faces of millions but there was a family in Bihar which found it hard to talk for nearly four hours as emotions were overflowing and tears of happiness were rolling down their eyes after the ‘special tweet’ from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
In an exclusive interview to indiatoday.in, Ishan Kishan’s brother Raj narrated the events which unfurled after the Ranchi wicketkeeper got his India call-up. Recalling the moment, Raj said he and his parents could not believe the news and had to double-check with the BCCI website before they could react further.
Ishan Kishan himself called from Indore but a “normal” conversation was not possible as the overwhelmed family failed to put their emotions in word.
“Felt really, really nice. We could not believe the news for a long time, we personally confirmed it on the BCCI site The emotions were so high that we were finding it hard to express ourselves. My mother and father are in Patna and I am in Nawada right now. There were tears of happiness.
“Ishan called us and we started crying, only after 4 hours we could talk normally. We started crying as soon as he called us,” Raj Kishan said.
Raj also revealed that his younger brother was “very happy” after the call-up. Ishan Kishan was IPL 2020’s fifth and Mumbai Indians’ highest run-scorer. From scoring 101 runs in 7 matches in the 2019 edition, the southpaw hit 516 runs in 14 matches in the following season. On the night of the final, Ishan remained unbeaten on 33 as Mumbai Indians won their record-extending 5th title. In a team full of stars like Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah, Ishan Kishan successfully left his own mark.
‘The wait was getting longer, he was getting frustrated’
During the period, there were talks about competition between him and Rishabh Pant for the wicketkeeper-batsman slot. However, Pant boarded the flight to Australia without his ‘competitor’ on it. Ishan Kishan’s arrival in India’s white-ball setup has been anticipated for long. The pocket-sized dynamite has passed his period of “frustration” and is “very happy” now. Raj now backs his brother to go on to play for the country in all 3 formats.
“Ishan was very happy. The wait for the national call-up was getting longer and he was frustrated as well. He was expecting to be picked in the Test squad also.
“As a big brother I will like to see him make debut for India in all the formats, I want to see him win matches for India. I am also hoping to see his name in the T20 World Cup squad.”
Raj Kishan, himself played cricket till he was in Class 10. He left the game and focussed on becoming a doctor (which he is now) in a bid to secure his middle-class family’s future. In a fairytale-like climax, Ishan Kishan has not let the sacrifice of his elder brother go in vain. The wicketkeeper-batsman is ready for some more roars.
“I played cricket till the 10th standard. We are a middle-class family and it was decided that only one of us can look for a career in cricket. Ishan did not at all like studying, so one of us had to study. Our grandmother is a doctor and so someone from the family had to opt for a career in the medical field,” Raj concluded.
‘Want to see Ishan rise like MSD’
Ishan Kishan’s childhood friend Rohit Kumar Singh has also expressed happiness, saying that he had seen a 10-year-old Ishan playing alongside guys double his age. He wants to see Ishan Kishan grow in stature like MS Dhoni.
“I mean this was the news we have always waited for, he has been playing so well-performing consistently for Mumbai Indians as well as other formats and tournaments in domestic cricket. He is a gutsy player since childhood he has always played big cricket. I remember when we used to play under 14 cricket. He used to play with seniors who all were in the age group of 19 to 22. However, Ishan was barely 10 or 12 at that time. We last met in November at his home after a successful IPL and we discussed his journey and he was so hopeful for the call from the national side. I can tell you that with his dream come true moment, it’s like our dream got fulfilled and now ye dil mange Ishan to perform under the guidance of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma and seal the place for all formats of the Indian Side and rise like MSD (Dhoni).”