Barinder Sran’s international debut celebrated in his hometown in Sirsa
MS Dhoni hands Barinder Sran his maiden India cap ahead of the Perth ODI. (Photo courtesy: Getty Images)

In the middle of common market of Panni Walla Morrika near Srisa, Haryana a huge TV screen was set up on Tuesday to watch the rising star from their village. Though India lost the match on Tuesday, Barinder Sran picked 3 for 56 and won many hearts. ALSO READ: 12 facts about Barinder Sran

“It has been like a festival in our village since early morning today,” says Sran’s 57-year old father Balbir Singh Sran, while speaking to Indian Express. Sran made his debut in the 1st ODI at Australia Tour in Perth on Tuesday.

“For the last one month, the villagers have been organising Akhand Path (prayers) at the village Gurdwara turn by turn for Barinder’s success and many of us saw the match on the LCD Screen in the market. His friends had been busy since last night setting it up. Although the Indian team lost, we cheered every time Barinder took a wicket and he has made us all proud. Due to his training, we have not spent much time with him. Par aaj TV te dekh ke lagya asi usde kareeb hi han. (But today as we saw him on TV, we felt as if we are near him),” shared Balbir Singh Sran who is a small time farmer in the village.

The journey from Panni Wala Morrika to Perth has been a long road for Sran. He began his sports career as a boxer for Bhiwani Boxing Club before he moved to cricket at Sirsa Stadium. Immediately he started playing for Kings XI Punjab in 2009 Indian Premier League Season. He was then picked for Punjab Ranji Team where he played his debut first class cricket against Orissa in 2011. He has outgrown himself in domestic cricket and holds stats of 16 wickets in this year’s Ranji Trophy and 14 wickets in Vijay Hazare Trophy, which has led him an opportunity to represent India at the Australia Tour. Read: Barinder Sran makes an impressive start to his ODI career: Twitter Reactions

“He called us in the morning before the match and told me about his debut. It was an emotional moment for me as a mother as the first thing he said was that he is missing home food. Whenever he is at home, he asks for Gur ki Churi and does not eat vegetables much. But at cricket training, he has to eat lots of vegetables. Sometimes he takes Gur from home also. Some boys from our village also live in Australia and they also went to see the match in Perth and met him after the match. When he started boxing initially, I would always be worried about injury. Sometimes, he would also feel low. Par Aaj de din Barinder layi ek navi shuruat hai. (Today is a start of new innings for Barinder),” said Barinder’s mother 51-year-old Jaspreet Kaur.

It was a moment of pride for Rupinder Kaur, Barinder’s sister who is studying Master of Art’s through correspondence. She could not focus on the match entirely as she was busy explaining the match rules to the villagers. “Before the tour, Barinder paji asked me what to bring back from Australia. And I told him to take as many wickets he can during this series. If he had continued with boxing, medals in Asian games or Olympics would have been his dream. And today’s wickets were like medals to him. Some of his friends, who are boxers, also called my father and said they were also watching the match. It was like watching a match of World Cup for us,” says Kaur.