Being young and talented is not always easy. The expectations people have from you and that you have from yourself are often sky-high, which leads to added pressure. Young Akshdeep Nath has faced this pressure day in and day out as a child prodigy in the game of cricket.
As a little boy, Akshdeep showed great skill with the bat which prompted his father to enrol him in a cricket academy when he was barely old enough to join a school. Life has been all cricket grounds and gym training from there for the wicketkeeper-batsman, but he has enjoyed every bit of it.
“When you are too young, you don’t think of anything else but to enjoy the game,” said Akshdeep in an exclusive chat with kxip.in. “I think that till now, that is what still keeps me going. The hours I spend on the ground, and on the gym – those are the best hours of my day, so that is the only motivation I need.”
Like all youngsters who show promise, Akshdeep was touted to be the next big thing in Indian cricket after he was picked up to be a part of the Indian Under-19 World Cup side and things were looking up for the youngster. But the flipside of finding fame and recognition early is the obligation you have to live up to your potential by working on your craft for hours. It kept Nath away from the one thing besides cricket that he loved.
“I like to spend a lot of time with my family, but I don’t get a lot of time with them since I started playing cricket at a high level,” said Akshdeep, “I have long chats with my parents and siblings, and like hanging out with friends if I am at home. A lot of my friends are from my school and college days, so it’s nice to meet them when I go home after many months.”
Living life like a typical youngster of his age, filled with family time and parties with friends, was never on the cards for Akshdeep once he hit the big time. He didn’t mind the sacrifice though and cherished all the time he got with his family, even if it meant having to do the thing he hates most.
“I dislike watching T.V. serials with my mom, but she likes them a lot, so she asks me to sit with her and watch those Indian TV dramas whenever I am home,” said Akshdeep with a laugh, “That’s the most pathetic part of my time at home. Obviously, I keep talking but she even doesn’t let me talk.”
As a part of the Lion’s Den now, Akshdeep has another new family consisting of others like him who have left home and family behind in the pursuit of mastering the Gentlemen’s Game. The prospect of playing alongside them has the young man thrilled.
“I am definitely thrilled to be a part of Kings XI! Even when I was playing for Gujarat Lions, (Brad) Hodge guided me over the two years, which helped me in my domestic cricket as well. And of course, Viru Pa (Virender Sehwag).
“Everyone wants to be him. If you get into the kind of mind-set that he has, then there is nothing better as a batsman. I am looking forward to being with that family and lifting the cup,” said a happy Akshdeep.