New Delhi: What's in a name? Well, probably everything. When a 17-year-old Washington Sundar helped Rising Pune Supergiant enter the final of Indian Premier League 2017 with his brilliant bowling performance against Mumbai Indians in the Qualifier 1, he became an overnight sensation.
But fans couldn't ignored the fact that the future star has a rather unique name for an Indian. For many, it has became an intriguing question. And finally, the story on how he got the name was revealed by none other than his father.
"I am a Hindu and come from a very humble family. Two streets away from my home in Triplicane (Chennai) lived an ex-army man called PD Washington," M. Sundar told The Hindu.
"Washington was extremely fond of cricket and would come to watch us play at the Marina ground (in Chennai). He took a liking for my game. I was poor and he would buy uniform for me, pay my school fee, get me books, take me to the ground in his cycle and constantly encourage me," added Sundar.
"To me he (PD Washington) was everything. He was the happiest man when I made it to the Ranji Trophy probables."
For the record, Sundar played in Tamil Nadu Cricket Association's (TNCA) first division league. Just after P.D passed away in 1999, M. Sundar’s first son was born.
"My wife had a difficult delivery. But the baby survived. As per the Hindu custom, I whispered a God's name, 'Srinivasan' in his ear.
"But I decided to name him Washington in memory of the man who had done so much for me. Had I had a second son, I would have called him Washington Jr," Sundar said.
On Tuesday, the young off-spinner produced a scintillating spell of spin bowling against Mumbai to take three wickets — those of Rohit Sharma, Ambati Rayudu and Kieron Pollard — and helped Pune win the match by 20 runs in the virtual semi-final.
Roped in as a late replacement for injured Ravichandran Ashwin, Sundar has emerged as one of the finds of IPL 10.
The India Under-19 player has taken eight wickets in ten matches so far.