Vinayak Vikram impressed the selectors by bagging 24 wickets in five matches in the Under-19 tournament © Getty Images
Vinayak Vikram impressed the selectors by bagging 24 wickets in five matches in the Under-19 tournament © Getty Images

Jamshedpur: He hails from naxal-affected and basic sport infrastructure-lacked Torpa in Khunti district, but right-arm off-spinner Vinayak Vikram proved his talent in his debut under-19 the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)-sponsored domestic cricket tournament.

Vinayak, who comes from a humble farmer’s family, impressed the selectors bagging 24 wickets in five matches in the Under-19 tournament this season after he failed to reserve his berth in the Under-16 age group despite bagging 45 wickets in the selection trial matches hosted by Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) last season.

Vinayak and another bowler Diwakar Jha had exhibited brilliant show in the selection trial of Under-16 last year scalping 45 and 33 wickets respectively but could not find a place in the state team as there was no vacancy on merit in the team, said Assistant Secretary of JSCA, Aseem Kumar Singh.

Singh told PTI that Vinayak had proved his mettle when former Indian captain Sandeep Patil-headed three member National Cricket Academy (NCA) of BCCI came here to identify bowling talent in Jharkhand about three years ago.

Former Indian left-arm seamer Karsan Ghavri and Yogendra Puri being other two members of the NCA committee.

Vinayak impressed the selector in his very first attempt and was one among the seven bowlers selected by the NCA team, Singh said.

Appreciating the dedication and hard-work of Vinayak, Singh said he comes from a poor financial background and a place, which lacked even basic sports infrastructure and badly affected by extremism.

Vinayak was selected in the Under-19 team only after one member of the team Ronit Singh was declared over-age and promoted in the Under-23 team this season, Singh said while hailing his impressive performance in the debut match that included a match against Uttar Pradesh, which he led the team to win at Keenan stadium in Jamshedpur.

His (Vinayak’s) impressive performance in the tournament helped to get selected in the East Zone team for the under-19 inter-zonal one-day tournament, he said.

Singh said Jharkhand has plenty of talent including in rural pockets but needed to be identified and nurtured them properly.

Under the leadership of JSCA President Amitabh Choudhary, JSCA have been making all possible effort to promote cricket and take the game to the remote and naxal-affected areas of the state, Singh claimed.

Talking to PTI, Vinayak said his father’s passion for cricket has prompted him to take up the game and learnt the basics of cricket from the local coaches, who even encouraged him to participate in the selection trial conducted by the NCA team at Ranchi three years ago.

The 18-year-old Vinayak said he had played five under-19 matches this season and scalped 24 wickets including five wickets in the first innings and eight wickets in the second innings against Uttar Pradesh, which helped Jharkhand to register an outright win here, he said.

Besides, he had four wickets haul against Andhra Pradesh and Vidarbha and clinched two wickets in the only match he played for East Zone against West Zone in Under-19 limited over tournament.

Vinayak said he dreamt for representing Jharkhand in Ranji trophy and play for the country.

Recently, Choudhary had claimed that the game of cricket was spread across the state due to the sincere effort and hard-work of JSCA.

During a felicitation function organised by JSCA to honour Choudhary for being elected as Joint Secretary of BCCI on Sunday last, Choudhary had stated that only 50 to 55 matches used to take place in the state before 2002 but today 58 tournaments are being hosted round the year.

Because of the sincere effort of JSCA, he had claimed cricketers like Saurabh Tiwary, speedster Varun Aaron, left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem, middle-order batsman Ishank Jaggi and seamer Rahul Shukla made into Team India, India A or IPL teams.