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Sports : U-19 World Cup 2020: Priyam Garg – Captain who beat the fear of leather ball – Hindustan Times


Sports :

Cricket did not happen to Priyam Garg by chance. It could never have been. Growing up in a small town near Meerut, in a family of seven with their share of struggles, sport was expected to be just a past-time, a sideshow at the most. For the young member of Garg household, however, it was much more. He feared getting injured by leather balls, had to face his father’s ire for choosing bat over books, travelled 40km daily from his residence in Quila Parikshitgarh to attend training . All of that effort, only to play the game he loved. Nothing came easy to Garg, each time he had to reach for it.

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Garg’s journey is yet to hit the crescendo, but it touched an important milestone on Monday when he was named the captain of the India U-19 team for the World Cup in South Africa, starting January 17. His shoulders will have to take the same responsibility that was once carried by the likes of Virat Kohli (2008), Mohd Kaif (2000), Prithvi Shaw (2018), all of whom went on to play for the senior national team.

“Nothing less than winning the fifth World Cup for India is my target. We have been four-time champions and I would like to follow the footsteps of what my seniors did at the previous editions, including the last one where we were champions,” he said in an interview. “It’s a big responsibility as we would be carrying the hopes of millions of people.”

India are the most successful team in U-19 cricket followed by Australia, who have won three titles. “I was sure of my selection as captain in the side as I have been doing well, even in the under-23 teams. I was expecting a call in a day or two, and I got a call only this morning. Certainly, a great honour and a big opportunity for me,” Garg, who is a middle-order batsman, added.

Unassuming

When a teenager talks of ‘carrying the hopes of millions’, one ought to sit up and take notice. More so, if the boy in question has amassed 800-plus runs in his debut Ranji Trophy season for Uttar Pradesh. And yet the kid in Garg shows up quite often in his unassuming nature and ever-smiling face.

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“We couldn’t afford

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