Bradman in Making in this Kerala Backyard
Vighnaj drives to perfection with a stump in hand, a drill Sir Don Bradman pioneered to sharpen his reflexes.
India’s rich reservoirs of batting talent have unearthed another gem in nine-year-old Vighnaj Prejith, whose drives with fluid back and across movement have drawn applause even from the English media. In a video that went viral, the prodigy can be seen timing deliveries to perfection with a stump in hand, a drill the legendary Sir Don Bradman pioneered to improve his hand-eye coordination.
The little boy fell in love with the sport in 2019 a couple of months after tuning into the Indian Premier League and has since picked up the bat with her grandmother chucking balls to him in a makeshift indoor setup.
Vighnaj would wake up in the wee hours of the morning and would practice batting for three hours straight in the flat. Necessity is the mother of invention, they say. The adage holds true in Vighnaj’s case as a broken bat compelled him to opt for a stump instead.
"Unfortunately, one day last year, he broke his bat. He asked me to get it fixed or get a new one but we couldn't find any shop open in Thrissur. They were all shut due to lockdown.’’ recalls his father.
"He insisted he wanted to continue batting with a stump in the absence of a bat. I rejected the request at first but then relented and allowed him to bat with it in our flat. What I saw surprised me. He was hitting the (plastic) ball with the middle of the stump," he added.
The senior Prejith spotted the potential in his kid and enrolled him into the Loongs Cricket Academy as soon as the lockdown was lifted last year. "He went there for six months before lockdown put a stop to his cricket once again, last month (April, 2021). Since then, he has been practising only at home." he highlighted.
The clip wherein Vighnaj is showcasing his skills caught the eye of Rajasthan Royals talent scout Romi Bhinder, whose academy in Nagpur is contracted with the franchise. Bhinder has an experienced eye for discerning talent and he foresaw a bright future in the wunderkind, thereby offering a proposal to take Vighnaj under their wings.
"I found this boy through a Facebook video. I talked to his dad and told him that the franchise will look after him in future. I told him that we will call him to the academy for further training and do whatever we can to help him," Bhinder told IANS from Nagpur.
The father is elated, no wonder. "RR has told us that they will sponsor him. They said they will help Vighnaj get some lessons from RR skipper Sanju Samson," exclaimed Prejith.
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