From cricketer to journalist
U of R student left India for Canada
Article: Karan Katoch – Contributor
Cricket is growing rapidly among the countries where it was once not considered to be a popular sport.
Here in Canada, cricket has grown by leaps and bound in the last decade, and there are many clubs spread in all provinces where athletes compete in their domestic tournaments. It is slowly and steadily crawling its way up and is being recognized by the people as a Canadian sport as well.
The major hindrance to cricket in this part of the world is the harsh weather conditions; however, Canada is emerging into a big sport and you never know, down the line in the next decade we might see our nation on top of the cricketing world.
Cricket to me personally is my favorite sport as I have been brought up in a family, which are big cricket fans. It is also because I too have represented my state U-19 team back home in India.
Cricket is considered to be a gentleman’s game. It is game which is mixed with emotions, affection, a felling of togetherness and ecstasy that makes it exciting to play and watch.
It is a game of love and unanimity. In India cricket is compared to a religion, in fact, you can bluntly say that cricket is a religion in India. When something becomes a religion in India then no one can question your beliefs about it.
To me, cricket is in my family roots, and has always played a role in my life. My dad is a huge fan of the game and that’s the reason why I started playing cricket while growing up. I took up cricket at an early age and when I was eight my dad enrolled me into an academy to learn and perfect the skills of the game. I loved the learning curve and started taking the game a little more seriously.
As I was developing my skills, I was fortunate to have a great coach who had played the domestic cricket game at the highest level. The structures for cricket in domestic were that each state had three teams that would participate in the state championships. We had U-12, U-19 and U-21 teams.
After that, the players who performed well – plus 10 more from general selection for those who didn’t represent for their state teams – would be drafted into a roster of 30 for their respective state teams.
In 2006, the governing body in our state proposed to select a U-16 team that would groom the players for the U-19 team. I got selected in the roster of 20 people and we all started our training under the government coaches sanctioned by our country’s cricket board.
I learnt a lot in the camps and sharpened my skills overall. During these camps I got to see and talk to many cricketers that had represented our country. It was a great experience not only in terms of cricket but also how to tackle tough situations and come out winners.
These camps made us mentally strong, and eventually we all were selected to the U-19 team and had our matches.
Despite the great experience, personally, I believe I didn’t perform the way I wanted to. I scored just two fifties in seven matches that I played and was left out of the squad for the next season. By then my studies were also going on side by side and I was always inclined towards journalism.
Once I had made my decision to give up cricket, I sat down with my dad and told him that I don’t want cricket as my career, but will instead leave the sport and would like to study abroad for journalism after my grade 12 year.
He stood by my decision and after my grade 12 year I came to the University of Regina, in Canada to pursue my dream of becoming a journalist.