Success in U-19 cricket doesn’t all the time assure you a spot within the senior nationwide staff. Many promising U-19 stars have failed to take the following massive step of their respective careers.
Meet Smit Patel, a star on the 2012 U19 World Cup, who has retired from all types of cricket below the Board of Cricket for Control in India (BCCI) to play worldwide cricket for the USA.
“It is not a decision that I have taken all of a sudden. For the past one and half months, I was pondering on my cricketing future in India. There are a couple of reasons for my decision to retire from the BCCI and move to the US. Firstly, I was trying to break into the national team for the past eight years. The competition in India for a wicketkeeper-batsman is so immense. Secondly, I want to stay close to my parents, who are living in the US alone for the past 11 years,” Smit Patel instructed IndiaImmediately.In from Pennsylvania.
The transfer had made Patel eligible to play franchise cricket. He will signify Barbados Tridents within the upcoming Caribbean Premier League (CPL).
Smit Patel’s household had migrated from Gujarat to Pennsylvania in 2010. Patel’s father runs a fuel station in Easton, the place they at the moment reside.
Smit’s mother and father needed his solely son to transfer to the US in 2010, however again then, the teen was impressed by Virat Kohli, who had led the India U-19 to title triumph in 2008.
“Virat Kohli played a big role in my decision to stay in India and pursue my cricketing dreams. Under Virat’s captaincy, we won the U-19 World Cup in 2008, and that win inspired me to stick with cricket,” recollects Patel.
Smit Patel lived his dream of successful the U-19 World Cup title in 2012, and he performed a vital position with the bat within the last. Along with skipper Unmukt Chand, Patel added an unbeaten 130 runs for the fifth wicket in opposition to Australia to assist India win the World Cup. Unmukt scored an unbeaten 111, whereas Patel stayed not out on 62.
“That victory in the U-19 world cup is the highest point of my life, and it was a special feeling. U-19 cricket is the most important moment of your junior career. At that point, you realise you have it in you to graduate to the next level. However, soon you realise that not everyone in your team is going to play for India. That is an ambition we all had at that time, but many factors have to align to make that happen,” stated Patel.
After the highs of the U-19 World Cup win, Patel didn’t have a clean transition to the senior Gujarat aspect. He had performed U-22 cricket to earn his place within the senior staff. However, he remained a second-choice wicketkeeper for Gujarat due to the presence of Parthiv Patel.
In search of extra matches as a wicketkeeper-batsman, Patel turned a journeyman in home cricket. He performed for Gujarat, Tripura, Goa, and Baroda within the Ranji Trophy.
“It was frustrating, but when you see the competition in Indian cricket, it is quite surreal. I have no hard feelings. All my paperwork with the BCCI is completed now. My Indian chapter is over; it is time for me to start the next phase of my life in the USA,” stated Patel.
“I am a green card holder, and I will qualify to play for the USA by August 2022. It is an excellent opportunity for me to play international cricket, which has always been my dream. I also have a two-year contract with the Major League Cricket (MLC), which is scheduled to kick off next year. I am looking forward to playing in it,” he added.
The 28-year-old has spent a few weeks with the US nationwide staff in Texas. The US cricket staff is led by former Indian U-19 star Saurabh Netravalkar, a part of the India U-19 World Cup staff in 2010. Former Karnataka captain and coach J Arun Kumar is the top coach of the US cricket staff.
“I spent a few days in the camp. The captain and coach welcomed me with an open hand. Although I still have to score runs and perform well with the gloves to earn my place in the team. I have been hustling for the past decade in India and will do the same in the US,” stated Patel.
Patel has performed 55 first-class matches in India with 4 completely different groups. He averages shut to 40 and has scored 11 centuries and 14 half-centuries.
Patel’s solely disappointment is that he was by no means picked by an Indian Premier League (IPL) staff.
“I never got a chance to play in the IPL. Only Unmukt (Chand) and Sandeep (Sharma) got the IPL contract from our winning team in 2010. It was quite disappointing when you see players from the previous (2010 U-19 team) and later (2014 U-19 team) getting contracts. It did hurt a lot if given the opportunity to share the dressing room with the world’s best, could have propelled my career,” stated Patel.
In 2012, Rajasthan Royals referred to as Smit Patel for a trial, however the wicketkeeper-batsman couldn’t make it since he was attending a West Zone U-25 camp in Pune. The different wicketkeeper-batsman who received the decision for the trials alongside Patel was Sanju Samson. Sanju is the captain of the Rajasthan Royals now.
“Sanju got selected, and now he is the captain of Rajasthan Royals. Such is life,” stated Patel.
Patel, nonetheless 28, with one of the best of his cricketing profession mendacity forward, may have an opportunity in his quest for redemption. He will play for a brand new staff on the street, transferring from one nation to one other. It will probably be chaotic, however he has all the time dreamt of mud, runs, centuries, and victories.