Indian cricket is at a very healthy place currently. All the stakeholders associated with the game are in the pink of financial health. Indian players are arguably the richest cricketing athletes in the world. Their annual contracts are arguably the biggest. They draw a handsome salary from IPL. Indian cricketers are the faces of major brands. They earn exorbitant deals from endorsements. But these cricketers have fought all odds to reach this position. Few of them were below the poverty line while few were on the borderline. Here are Indian Cricketers Who Battled Poverty.
Indian Cricketers Who Battled Poverty
#6 Mohammad Siraj
Mohammad Siraj captured everyone’s attention during India’s epic series win in Australia. He spearheaded the attack in just his 3rd Test. Siraj’s father passed away before he made his debut. It was his father’s dream to see Siraj play Test cricket for India. Siraj stayed back to live his father’s dream. A son of an auto driver, Siraj had nothing but ambition and skill to play for the country. He is one of the team’s leading pacers right now.
#5 Pandya brothers
The Pandya brothers (Krunal and Hardik) hail from Baroda. They had a very modest upbringing. The brothers survived on a packet of noodles the whole day. It was their only diet when they toiled hard in Baroda grounds practicing cricket. Their hard work paid off when Hardik got selected to play for Mumbai Indians. He soon went to represent India too. Krunal too followed the same footsteps. The brothers earn a combined IPL contract of 19.6 crores. They have surely come a long way.
#4 T. Natarajan
T. Natarajan wasn’t meant to be an elite cricketer but he fought his fate, poverty to become one. Natarajan hails from an interior village in Tamil Nadu. He was noticed first in the TNPL. Natarajan shockingly had no kit bag with him even then. The reason being he couldn’t afford one. All he had was a pair of shoes that too sponsored by his mentor. But that didn’t stop him from making his presence felt in the international arena. He is now considered to be a Yorker expert in world cricket.
#3 Pathan brothers
There is something about Baroda and the brothers who go on to play for India. Irfan Pathan had set the world alight with his swing bowling. The elder brother, Yusuf Pathan too followed suit. Yusuf was one of the most destructive players who ever played for India. The brothers struggled right through their childhood to get hold of even basic amenities. They lived in a nearby mosque completing their daily chores. Post their successful run with the Indian team, the brothers built an iconic home in Baroda. They are the most generous set of brothers who give back to society almost whatever they get.
#2 Ravindra Jadeja
Ravindra Jadeja had a tough childhood. He lost his mother quite young in life. His father was a watchman by profession. A gritty Jadeja grew up to live his dream. He has established himself as one of the leading all-rounders of the game. Jadeja remains invaluable to Indian cricket. He now lives his life like a Royale!
#1 MS Dhoni
Mahendra Singh Dhoni remains India’s most successful skipper in terms of ICC trophies won. In fact, no other skipper apart from Dhoni has won all ICC championships. But what Indian cricket owes to Dhoni is not just his captaincy. But the fact that he opened doors for millions of small-town kids aspiring to play cricket. His meteoric rise in world cricket has inspired an entire generation to dream big. A son of a pump operator, a ticket collector himself, Dhoni redefined the Indian middle-class dream in the best possible way.