Manoj Tiwary is a cricketer who has evolved tremendously since his early days in the sport and continues to evolve with each game he plays. His growth into a batting mainstay from his initial role of an out-and-out aggressor has been a delight to watch for fans of the game.
Of late he has been making waves with his blistering performances in the Deodhar Trophy which won India B the game. But before he became the Chhota Dada of Bengal cricket, he was just a sports-loving youngster who wanted to have a bit if fun.
“There are a couple of things that inspired me to take up cricket as a career,” said Tiwary in a chat with kxip.in. “The love for the game has always been there. In fact, I enjoyed playing other sports as well, because I used to live in the Railways colony since my dad was in the Railways.
“There used to be a ground there where we used to play cricket in the afternoon, and in the evening, we played football. I used to take part in both and I was lucky enough to play well in both the sports. That’s how it all started.”
It was only a matter of time after he found his groove in cricket that he started to get noticed. His natural ability to clear the field and technical precision made him an ideal middle-order batsman.
“Once I got into the school cricket team, my coach asked my elder brother to put me in a cricket coaching centre in Calcutta because I had the potential,” said Tiwary.
Rs 1200 for a game
But dreams didn’t come cheap for young Manoj, whose father did his best to ensure that all three of his children got the best education and were never left wanting for anything. Manoj had decided early to share his burden as early as he could, and cricket became an avenue which helped him get there.
“We were three brothers and my father worked in the Railways where the income wasn’t the best, so we were financially challenged at times because dad took the initiative of putting all three of us into the same English medium school, where the expenses were too high,” explained Tiwary, “So, along with the love for the game, the money part was also there.”
He worked hard to improve his game from there and play as much cricket as he could. At a tender age where youngsters are just learning about responsibility, Tiwary was already shouldering more than his fair share, pushing his potential every time.
“When I started playing cricket seriously, it all started from there. I eventually got selected for the U-16 West Bengal team, and since the time I made my debut for them, we used to get Rs 1200 for a game, which was a big amount for me at that point of time. Keeping that in mind, I calculated in my mind the amount I would earn and be able to help my family financially. That’s how I got into it, and from there on I never looked back. That’s another thing that inspired me.”
Tiwary is now one of the most dependable batsmen in the game and can anchor the innings for his side in any format, but not many would know of these formative years of the cricketer which moulded him into the responsible player that he is. Here’s hoping the young boy who grew up too early keeps growing and reaches new heights with each game he plays.