Cricket

Vicky Ostwal: The star performer in the U-19 World Cup and his journey from Lonavala to the Caribbean via ‘local trains’

Ostwal, Six Sports

India U-19‘s latest sensation Vicky Ostwal liked to play cricket as a hobby and would have stayed on at Lonavala playing the sport, had it not been for his coach Mohan Jadhav, who asked Ostwal’s father to shift to Pune and the rest is history.

When the left-arm spinner took 5 wickets in the opening match against South Africa in the U-19 World Cup, it seemed that years of sacrifices and prayers were finally rewarded.

Jadhav told PTI in an interview,

This boy hails from Lonavala. Initially, he wne to Mumbai to play cricket at the Vengsarkar Academy when he was nine years old. Then he came to the Vengsarkar Academy’s branch in Thergoan near here, when he was 10 years old.

Vicky Ostwal: The star performer in the U-19 World Cup and his journey from Lonavala to the Caribbean via ‘local trains’, Six Sports

Adding further, he said,

From there his journey started. The reason to shift to Pune was that the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) does not have jurisdiction over Lonavala and it falls under Maharashtra Cricket Association (MACA).

It was Jadhav who saw a spark in the young boy and made him play cricket at all age-group levels to make him better prepared for senior levels.

He used to bowl left-arm spin from the beginning and when he was 10 years old, I made him play Under-13- Under -14 matches. His bounce, line and length and approach towards the game was very good.

Ostwal was also a part of India’s U-19 Asia Cup triumph where he bagged three wickets to beat Sri Lanka in the finals.

Vicky Ostwal: The star performer in the U-19 World Cup and his journey from Lonavala to the Caribbean via ‘local trains’, Six Sports

Recalls Jadhav,

Even when he was 16 years old, or now his is 19, we made him play senior level matches, so that he always got competition and when he played at senior level, it wasn’t difficult for him.

Ostwal started playing for Maharashtra when he was 13 years old and since then has been making great strides in cricket.

Long train journeys have always been a part of and parcel for Mumbai players be it Sachin Tendulkar, Shardul Thakur, or Prithvi Shaw, but this phenomenon is not common with Maharashtra players.

Vicky Ostwal: The star performer in the U-19 World Cup and his journey from Lonavala to the Caribbean via ‘local trains’, Six Sports
Vicky Ostwal: The star performer in the U-19 World Cup and his journey from Lonavala to the Caribbean via ‘local trains’, Six Sports

His father and he (Vicky) travelled by local train for three to four years. His father took special permission from school to take him early and then travelled from Lonavala to Chinchwad, which took them at least an hour and half. In all they travelled for three hours.

Jadhav then felt that if the family shifted to a nearby place close to the academy it would save a lot of traveling time and energy.

Says Jadhav,

We then felt that if we reduced his travelling time, his energy would be saved. So, then we requested his family, if they could stay at a place near the academy, it would be better.

Adding further, he said,

Then his family agreed and came to reside at a place, which was walking distance from the academy and his exertion halted.

Signing off, he said,

He is a player of the fantastic system of every age group of Verroc Vengsarkar cricket academy.

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