Ishant Sharma, the Indian fast bowler, is motivated to play international cricket till the time his body allows him to compete.
Ishant, who made his international debut way back in 2007, is one of the 27 sportsperson who have been honored with the prestigious Arjuna Award this year. The right-hander, however, could not attend the online ceremony as he is currently with his Indian Premier League franchise Delhi Capitals in the United Arab Emirates.
‘’I realized my passion for cricket at a very young age and since then I have been striving to give my 100 per cent effort day in and day out. Every step I took to improve my game was aimed at taking India’s name to a higher level“ Ishant Sharma wrote on Twitter.
‘’Till the time my body allows, I will continue to do so, and by God’s grace after that as well,” he added.
Ishant, who has represented India in 97 Tests, 80 ODIs and 14 T20Is, went on to thanks the sports ministry for the recognition and the BCCI for their continued support over the years.
“I sincerely thank the (sports) ministry for this recognition. Lastly, a huge shout out to BCCI for giving monumental support in this journey and the journey going forward. Not to forget, congratulations to all the fellow Arjuna Awardees,” he added.
Ishant Sharma has been at the height of his powers in the last 3 years
Ishant Sharma’s career has been full of highs and lows. The Delhi fast bowler stormed into reckoning post that marathon spell to Ricky Ponting in the 2008 Perth Test. But the next 7-8 years brought more disappointment than joy for Ishant. Since his debut in 2007 to the end of 2016, Ishant managed 212 wickets at an average of 36.47 in 73 Test matches.
Ishant, however, continued to toil away, and it was his stint with Jason Gillespie in county cricket that triggered a change in his career. Ishant’s major issue for the better part of his career was his inability to bowl on a fullish length on a consistent basis. Gillespie’s advice of putting in more effort while bowling fuller proved to be a masterstroke for Sharma and since then he has looked like a completely different bowler.
Since the start of 2017, the right-handed bowler has claimed 85 wickets in 24 games at an average of 22.20 which also includes 4 five-wicket hauls. Ishant- 297 wickets from 97 Tests- is nearing a rare milestone of becoming the second Indian fast bowler to play 100 Test matches and the third- after Kapil Dev and Zaheer Khan- to claim 300 wickets in the longest format of the game.