Surendra Singh Rathod, a BCCI accredited cricket coach was traveling across Jaipur, when he first chanced upon the then eight-year-old Kamlesh Nagarkoti.
Kamlesh was playing cricket in the army cantonment with his friends and caught Rathod’s attention with a brilliant catch. So Rathod stayed back to watch the remaining game and by the time the game ended, he decided to take the kid under his wing and be his cricket coach.
Image: Hindustan Times
Ten years later, as one of the fastest bowlers in the U- 19 Indian team, Kamlesh has made not just his coach and family but also his country feel proud of him. However, interestingly, he wasn't always passionate about cricket. In an interview with Wisden India, he said,
“When I started off, it was more of a hobby than anything else. It was only after my brother encouraged me that I decided to pursue the sport seriously."
Originally from Uttarakhand, Kamlesh's family was residing in Jaipur as his father was working for the army. After retirement, the family's initial plan was to return to their native. But they decided to stay back to support Kamlesh's passion after realising he was good at it.
Kamlesh gradually made his way through U-14, U-16 cricket teams of Rajasthan to finally play for the U-19 team representing India for the 2018 World Cup. He took the highest number of wickets and contributed significantly to India's winning against Australia.
With average bowling speed of 143.6 kph and highest at 149 kph, Kamlesh attracted the attention of most cricket lovers including Virendar Sehwag and Sourav Ganguly.
Tweeting about Kamlesh and another impressive bowler - Shivam Mavi, Sourav Ganguly wrote,
Talking about how skilled Kamlesh is in bowling, his coach Rathod told Firstpost,
“His biggest weapon is reverse swing. He is basically an outswinger with the new ball, but I told him, you need to learn to bowl the semi-new ball. For that he has done a lot of basic drills. Even today, if I tell him to do a simple drill from two steps, he won’t think that ‘now I’m playing higher level cricket, why do this?’”
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