Thiruvananthapuram: Residents of the coastal village Pallithura, home of cricketer Sanju Samson, turned sad after hearing the news that their neighbour did not figure in the playing XI in India's Twenty20 International against Zimbabwe that got underway in Harare on Friday.
The 20-year-old glovesman was lucky to get a late call to the Indian team after batsman Ambati Rayudu was left out due to an injury and it was only on Thursday that Samson reached the Zimbabwean capital.
Just ahead of the team being announced, Samson's parents left their home and arrived at their local parish church - the St. Mary's Church in Pallithura, located near the proposed Vizhinjam Port near the state capital.
But seeing the media in tow, they did not alight from the car and instead bowed their heads looking at the church and drove away.
"It's sad that Samson was not selected for today's match. May be it's because of his delayed arrival. We all wish and expect he plays the next match," said a group of young boys standing in the crowd in front of the church.
This is the second time that Samson has been selected to the Indian team. The first time was when he was included in the team for the limited over series against England in 2014, but he had to cool himself on the bench.
Samson's selection for the national team came on July 13 soon after he was named captain of Kerala, making him the youngest skipper of the senior state side.