In a short of span of time, Kamlesh Nagarkoti has become the toast of the town. In a country long longing for a genuine fast bowler, he definitely provides plenty of hope.
Nagarkoti has stunned many with his ability to bowl really fast in the ongoing Under-19 Cricket World Cup in New Zealand. In what was India's opening game against Australia earlier this month, Nagarkoti almost clocked 150 kmph as his fastest delivery besides bowling at an average speed of close to 145 kmph.
For an 18-year-old, that's exceptional speed and former India cricketers Virender Sehwag and Sourav Ganguly were left impressed in the wake of his performance (3/29) against Australia that helped the team start their campaign on a flier.
Fans also became curious thereafter and on the internet looked out for more and more information concerning the pacer from Rajasthan. Lachham Singh, the fast bowler's father, in an exclusive interview to Zee News Hindi Online on Tuesday discussed his son's cricketing journey right from his childhood and brought to light many interesting titbits.
"His coach Surendra Singh Rathod always believed that Kamlesh was made for fast bowling, that the kind of body he has, it has facilitated fast bowling right from an early age. When he saw Kamlesh bowl he told him you have got speed and you could do something with that speed. That's how Kamlesh was hooked in" Lachham Singh, who retired from Indian Army in 2014, said.
Lachham Singh continues: "Since childhood he was mad about cricket. Even during hot seasons, he will play all day. If there were no friends to play with, he will hang the ball from a tree branch and do it alone. He would come back home only to fill his water bottle.
"He was never into studies. He will persuade his brother and friends to play. He has broken a great many windows in the neighbourhood. First the neighbours did complain but as he started getting success their attitude towards him changed and now they praise him."
Lachham Singh also revealed that his son could not sleep all night the day before the announcement of the Under-19 World Cup squad as he was filled with premonitions.
He said now all his son wanted was to play in the same team as Virat Kohli. "Kamlesh has only one desire now, that of playing alongside Virat Kohli. He keeps telling me that. He also tells me that he has learnt a lot from Under-19 head coach Rahul Dravid, especially the nuances of the game."
The Indian team has reached the quarterfinals following winning all their three matches in Group B. Now they will play Bangladesh on India's Republic Day and his father and fans will hope the young leather-flinger continues making waves and eventually leads the team to their fourth trophy.