Can Deepti provide the perfect gift to her brother?    Getty Images
Can Deepti provide the perfect gift to her brother? Getty Images

All eyes will be glued to the television screens on Sunday as India take on England in the final of ICC Women s World Cup 2017 at Lord s. One of them will be Deepti Sharma s brother Sumit who gave up his career in cricket to help his sister pursue her ambitions. Sumit claims India lifting the World Cup will be the best rakhi gift for him. Indeed, it will be a historic moment for the team who have reached the final stage for the second time. The 19-year old all-rounder is the youngest in the squad. She is also the three-time world record holder for highest runs and wickets in ODIs. WWC17 final: Whenever I think of giving up, I remember my parents’ sacrifices, admits Mithali

Speaking to The Times of India (TOI), Sumit recalls Deepti s dream chase and his contribution in making her an all-rounder, She is a hard worker, never gives up. For nearly a decade, we both have worked hard to achieve what we have now. We used to practice eight to nine hours a day. I gave up cricket and my career to help my sister grow in the game. Deepti is the youngest of the seven siblings. Sumit recalled the day when Deepti stunned the chairperson of India Women s cricket selection committee Hemlata Kala with her throw from a distance of more than 50 metres at the age of eight.

Around 2005-06, when I used to practice at Eklavya stadium (Agra), Deepti used to accompany me and watch players practising in the nets. One day, when former cricketer Kala hit a ball in the stand and asked Deepti to throw it back, she knocked the bails off, stunning the veteran international level player. That day, Kala called me and said, I don t know whether you will play for the Indian team or not, but I guarantee your sister will be playing for the team , said an excited brother.

Sumit had quit his job to help his sister improve her game. I resigned and persuaded my family, especially parents, to let me work on Deepti s game and improve her performance. We both worked hard for the next two years and later she was selected in the Indian team, expressed Sumit.

Sumit s selfless efforts were recently acknowledged by Sachin Tendulkar through his tweet while talking about Deepti s journey in the Indian team.

At the recent quadrangular series in South Africa, Deepti became the second highest individual scorer in ODI with 188 runs. She also claimed 6 wickets in 9.2 overs against Sri Lanka during the World Cup Qualifiers.