Venkatraman Ganesan, who works in IT sector for living, has joined the newly-growing Germany © Getty Images
Venkatraman Ganesan, who works in IT sector for living, has joined the newly-growing Germany © Getty Images

It is not new for Indian talents to move abroad and join another team to pursue their dreams of becoming a cricketer. While many have moved to prominent cricket-playing nations such as Pakistan and South Africa, a rare case of a Chennai-born cricketer moving to Germany and joining the national team has surfaced recently. Venkatraman Ganesan, who works in IT sector for living, has joined the newly-growing Germany national cricket team and is all set to play for Germany in ICC Division One European Championship in the Netherlands, starting from June 11. READ: Rise of cricket in Germany to be made into a film

Germany, which is recognised majorly in sports for its contribution to cricket, was recently reported to nurture a new-found love for cricket, thanks to the immigrants and Ganesan is a part of the community. “I never expected this,” the Chennaiyan, who had once rubbed shoulders with the likes of Ravichandran Ashwin and Murali Vijay in cricket, revealed Times of India. “ I’m happy and excited. I had to quit cricket due to family circumstances in 2006. But now I’m part of a national team and my family has been a pillar of strength. It’s not easy being a non-professional cricketer and trying to making it to top. I have a daughter and a settled life here. Because of their support, I have been able to do the balancing act of an IT employee and a cricketer as well.”

But how did he come across the team?

“I searched Germany cricket on the web and I found there were a few clubs playing 50-over and T20 cricket. Two years back, I realized there could be a cricketing future in Germany. I motivated myself and worked hard on fitness. I first represented a club in Mannheim city and then when I moved to Dusseldorf, I played for Dusseldorf Blackcaps Cricket Club.”

“I did well for my state team Western Eagles and then scored a hundred in a national camp practice match in 2016 to make a name for myself,” adds the 32-year-old, who represented SBI and Mambalam Mosquitos in the TNCA first-division league in 2004-06. Venkatraman is “not a citizen” of Germany . “The ICC rules permitting a player to represent a country if he has been residing there for a minimum of four years have come in handy,” he added.

“The team, which is led by yet another Indian Rishi Pillai, is doing well to spread the game among the football-lovers,” says Ganesan.

“They have started capturing all the state matches and a lot of people watch cricket in social media as a result… A lot of us are trying our best to develop club cricket by finding sponsors and in creating good net facilities.”