I am a Dinesh Karthik-Kind-of-a-Player: Smit Patel | EXCLUSIVE

The Sachin Tendulkar-fan is open to representing the US if the opportunity comes by.

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Smit Patel INTERVIEW (Image: Instagram)

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New Delhi: In a bid to pursue his American dream, ex-India U-19-winner Smit Patel made headlines when he – at 28 – decided to officially retire from all forms of cricket in India. The Ahmedabad-born Patel has now got a contract with Barbados Tridents and is set to feature in the upcoming season of the Caribbean Premier League. That surely would just be the start.

In a tete-e-tete with CricketCountry, Patel explained why he decided to relocate and the fact that he is open to playing for the United States of America as and when the opportunity comes up. During the candid chat over a call from Pennsylvania, he also confessed his fondness for Sachin Tendulkar in his growing up years and the lessons he gets to learn from watching Virat Kohli pace his centuries.

Here are the Excerpts of the interview…

What inspired you to take up cricket?

My grandfather used to play cricket and also my father, but unfortunately, they could not make it big. So in my house, cricket was discussed and also watched. These are the things that inspired me to take to the sport.

How difficult was the decision to move out of India to pursue your cricketing dream? 

Emotionally, it was difficult because India is the best country. But again, I do not regret the decision because for me it was always about playing the game.

Did things veer off a bit after the U-19 stint for India? What went wrong?

Lack of opportunities, not that I was not scoring runs with the limited chances that I got. I had to leave Gujarat as I was not getting a chance to play for the team as a wicketkeeper-batsman because Parthiv Patel was there.

Would you someday want to represent the US national cricket team?

Of course, I would love to do that if and when the chance comes by. The US cricket team has been doing well over the past couple of seasons.

How different is the standard of cricket in India in comparison to the US?

Yes, it is different. The standard of cricket in India is high and that is because of the domestic structure. The US is moving towards that, trying to prepare a good structure that would ensure quality cricketers come out.

Who is your batting inspiration? 

In my growing-up years, it was Sachin Tendulkar. But now, I love watching Virat Kohli because of the way he paces his innings and his consistency.

One Indian cricketer, you identify your game with?

Dinesh Karthik. That is because I too am a busy cricketer like him, a finisher, who likes to convert ones into twos and pick up boundaries when the opportunity comes by.

Who is the cricketer you would like to meet at the Barbados Tridents in the CPL?

I am excited to be a part of CPL. I am also looking forward to meeting the players and pick on their brains. The CPL experience I am hoping would improve my game.

Which are the leagues you would like to be a part of?

No specific leagues, whatever comes my way, I will go for it. My idea is to play cricket.

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