Kamlesh Nagarkoti, a member of India Under-19 World Cup 2018-winning squad, impressed everyone with his pace at the prestigious cricketing tournament. Soon after, he was picked up by Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) for Rs 3.2 crore for IPL 11. But an injured back ensured that Nagarkoti hasn’t played a competitive game in the last 13 months.
As of now the fast bowler is undergoing rehab at National Cricket Academy, Bengaluru. The 19-year-old spoke to ESPNCricinfo: “At 19, I should be running in and bowling fast. But here I am, not playing, not studying, out injured, away from home, all by myself, and trying to get fit even as my friends are playing in the IPL and for India A… It’s been tough, no doubt.”
Like any other young cricketer he got a little frustrated when things did not go his way. It was former Indian cricketer Rahul Dravid’s who came to Nagarkoti’s rescue and counseled him during this tough phase. “Sir [Dravid] was there for a meeting during an India A series, when he asked for me through someone. Don’t think life is over if you miss one or two IPL seasons, you have to play for India. You have to be strong for that,” he said.
Dravid cited Australian speedster Pat Cummins’ example to encourage Nagaekoti, telling him how the former rose to No.1 Test ranking after missing out on 6 years of cricket owing to his back injury.
A stellar coach indeed.