Renowned sportspeople from small towns often have inspirational stories on their journey to the top, and Khaleel Ahmed’s isn’t any different. The Indian fast bowler has disclosed his hardships being from a rural background with plenty of responsibilities on his shoulders. Khaleel Ahmed engaged in a conversation about the same in detail with Manish Batavia on Spicy Pitch.
Khaleel Ahmed received his first cap for the Indian national team in September 2018. To his dismay, the left-arm speedster hasn’t had an entirely satisfying career so far, having played 25 games across T20Is and ODIs. However, being young, Khaleel has the chance to improve and stay in the reckoning. He also plays for the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL.
Speaking about his roots, the 22-year old revealed they belong to a small village in Rajasthan. Due to his father’s job, he used to be away from home a lot, causing him to do plenty of work at home. Instead, he sprinted off for practice and kept training in the academy. As a matter of fact, Khaleel’s parents didn’t know when he got admitted to the academy.
“We come from Tonk, which is a small town in Rajasthan. My father was a compounder, and he was away at work a lot. We were a family of 4 siblings – three elder sisters and then me. Being the youngest son, I was expected to do a lot of small work around the house when my father wasn’t around. But I ran off for practice without telling anyone! It continued even until I was training at the academy. My family didn’t even know I had got admission.”
Khaleel Ahmed’s father on what lead to a change of plans:
Khursheed Ahmed had simple aspirations for his son from the beginning, which was to study well and become a health worker; however, his mind was stuck on cricket. It was when the 22-year old got selected for the U-19 side that his father believed in his skills. He added by saying that we are his massive supporters and at times, critics too.
“Like any middle-class parent, I wanted my son to study hard and become a doctor. Being a compounder myself, this was a big dream. But he just wanted to play cricket — nothing else! I think when he got selected for Under 19, I started to believe that this might be his future after all finally. Today, of course, we are his biggest supporters — and sometimes critics!”