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Medium fast and furious: A budding cricketer's memoir

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Cricket is his passion, Wasim Akram his hero and the mild mannered Raju Prabhakar, an average player, has one dream - win the K L Rao cricket tournament cup for his school team. The 11-year-old underdog's story is the subject of a new book "Medium Fast and Furious" by Rahul Oak and published by Scholastic. After developing a liking for the game in the early 90s, Raju used to spend his initial days mostly sitting around the boundary, watching his seniors practice after school, fetching a ball from time to time. Gradually, he would be allowed to run in and bowl every once in a while when the regular bowlers were tired during nets, but batting was completely out of question. Their coach Sir Kumar, who often brags that he lost his place in the Indian team to Kapil Dev, made Raju and other ball boys to field saying fielding is like mathematics; practice makes perfect. But lady luck smiled on Raju and he managed to find a place in his school's cricket team for the 1992-93 season. "This was surely one of the highlights of my youth. I had finally arrived. I will never forget that moment when I stood among that batch of mostly older boys and noticed the looks I got from my classmates.

They were a mixture of jealousy, sheer incredulity and some amount of loathing," he says about he felt after being in the team. After sitting out for two matches, Raju finally made his debut and took three wickets. Though his team won, it could not make it to the semi-finals. His name appeared in the next day's local newspaper. In the next year's edition, Raju's team won all the three league matches before losing in the last over of the semi- final. However, the next year had something great in store as Raju's team lifted the K L Rao trophy.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, June 13 2017. 16:42 IST