Back in the day, cricket in India was always considered a metro city game. Cricketers from centers like Mumbai, Delhi, dominated the game and it was only until Kapil Dev arrived in 1978 that broke the shackles for youth aspiring to be cricketers in small cities or villages. If Kapil Dev laid the first step for small town kids to fulfill their dream of becoming an Indian cricketer in the late 70s, MS Dhoni did the same in the early 2000s.
MS Dhoni’s rise to stardom from a relatively obscure city of Ranchi gave wings to many small towners to pursue their dream. One of the many examples of it is swashbuckling wicketkeeper-batsman Sanju Samson. Samson, who hails from a Football-loving state of Kerala, grew up watching MS Dhoni dominate the game and that gave him an ‘extra motivation’ to pursue relentlessly towards his goal.
”Yes, Dhoni Bhai has inspired all of us from the day he came to play for India in the first match against Bangladesh and then scored that famous century against Pakistan,” Sanju Samson told Gulf News.
” His success provides extra motivation for me as he came from Ranchi to become one of the all time greats of the game while I hail from Kerala – both places no cricketing history,” he said.”
‘I am just focusing on ultimately playing for my country’- Sanju Samson
Sanju Samson hasn’t had the smoothest of cricket journey thus far. The right-hander, who made his international debut back in 2015, earned a recall to the national courtesy his exploits in the Vijay Hazare Trophy last season.
After spending a long period of time on the bench, Sanju Samson finally got his opportunity during the series against Sri Lanka and then in New Zealand but the swashbuckling stumper wasn’t able to capitalize on his chances. Sanju has always maintained that he benefited a lot by spending time with the likes of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli in the dressing room, and even though KL Rahul has established himself as India’s first-choice keeper in white-ball cricket, he still believes that his career is on the right track.
”No, I don’t think of replacing anybody, all of us are trying to win matches for the country at the end of the day. I am just focusing on ultimately playing for my country. I have had a very good season in 2019 in domestic, India A and then for India. I have worked hard for the last 8-9 years in terms of my training, game, and diet,” Samson added.
“At this point, I have a good 10 more years of cricket left in me and I will give it my best shot. I am headed in the right direction but have miles to go.” he reckoned.