'Setbacks made me focus better'

'Setbacks made me focus better'

Determined pitch

'Setbacks made me  focus better'

Naman Ojha, first-class cricketer and player of ‘Sunrisers Hyderabad’ of Indian Premier League (IPL) this season, describes the IPL as a ‘phenomenon of sorts’.

“IPL literally brings together world cricket under one roof. There’s a tremendous amount of exposure that domestic cricketers get during the IPL,” says Naman.

Naman confesses that he has always wanted to be a cricketer and when he told his parents about it, they were a bit apprehensive but let their son pursue his passion. “I come from an ordinary family, so a lot of time and money were spent in getting me to the practice sessions during my training,” he recollects.

Looking back, Naman says the ups and downs have only made his determination to play for the country even stronger. There was a time when Naman didn’t make it to the Indian cricket team. How did he handle that disappointment? “I think the setbacks made me focus better. There’s no room for disillusionment and disappointment in the world of cricket. You have to set a goal for yourself and go for it, come what may,” he says with a sense of certainty. 

Like any other young cricketer, Naman keenly follows the work of Adam Gilchrist and MS Dhoni. “These two people have worked very hard and brought a lot of recognition to the game. I follow them very closely and draw a lot of inspiration from them,” he says.

He also admires the pool of talent that one gets to see during IPL. “The amount of recognition that one gets during IPL is unmatched. You actually get to pick up a lot of points from overseas cricketers both on and off the field. You also get an insight into their work ethics, their attitude towards life and the game in particular,” he says.

Naman enjoys travelling and IPL serves as a perfect excuse to visit several places. He concedes it’s a tiring process but makes sure he sticks to a healthy diet. He never compromises on his exercise routine. Monitoring the diet helps reduce a lot of stress. “I take in more proteins and cut down on the carbs so that I don’t slip into a lethargic mode,” he says.

After every match, the cricketers spend time together and use this opportunity to learn something from each other. “Every year, during IPL, I introduce some of the overseas cricketers in our team to authentic Indian food and teach them a few words or sentences in Hindi,” he says. He admires the foreign players for their openness in accepting and acknowledging people from other countries.

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