Vicky Ostwal’s coach reminiscences about the 9-year-old who commuted from Lonavala to Mumbai

Vicky, Six Sports

On Saturday, when the India-U19 team beat South Africa, it was due largely to Vicky Ostwal’s 5-wicket haul.

Mohan Jadhav, the youngster’s coach shared bits of his charge’s life when he first came to his academy. He saw the boy with his father coming all the way from Lonavala to Mumbai.

I always saw them sometimes coming late, sometimes too early. So one day I asked where they lived, and Vicky replied that he came from Lonavala. Take a train, eat there and then go back again. Most of his energy used to get spent in the journey itself but he never gave up. He always looked fresh on the ground and never showed fatigue.

Jadhav also remembers the time when he called up Ostwal’s father, Kanhaiya, and asked him to shift to Pune as it will save Vicky a lot of time and energy. His father readily agreed and the family moved to the vicinity in Pune.

But, Vicky had to decide for the sake of cricket whether to stay in the hills or to come to the ground in Mumbai.

They used to play in Mumbai. He used to travel daily. Imagine a small boy, who had to travel two hours one way daily. He went to make his Mumbai Cricket Association card one day but was debarred as only players born in the city can play in MCA tournament. So that is when I got a call to enrol the boy in Pune.

Ostwal’s biggest strength is that he can bowl the ball consistently on one spot. The cricket academy (The Varroc Vengsarkar Cricket Academy) where Vicky currently trains, has also produced Ruturaj Gaikwad, who shot to fame with the Chennai Super Kings in the IPL.

Says Jadhav,

His control is the key. In junior games, he was successful because of his control and ability to bowl at one spot consistently. At the same time, he loves to talk about the game. He will pick points from others consistently to develop himself. You will see him talking in the nets always.

Vicky’s family is elated with his performance but not getting overexcited. His father, Kanhaiya knows that his son has still a long way to go.

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