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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Abhishek Nayar does Shardashram proud

Mumbai's Shardashram Vidya Mandir has given many cricketers to the Indian team, including Sachin Tendulkar. The latest entrant in the team from the school is all-rounder Abhishek Nayar.

The 25-year-old was picked in the 15-member squad of the Indian team that is to tour West Indies later this month for a four-match one-day international (ODI) series. "It was a big surprise. Srikkanth sir called me up and said that I've been picked in the squad. I am still unable to digest it. My phone hasn't stopped ringing and I have received almost 400 calls," Nayar told.

The southpaw says he feels proud to continue his school's tradition of producing cricketers. "It is a great feeling to be a part of the school which has produced so many cricketers and I am happy that I have continued the tradition," he said. "I am thankful to all of them, my parents, my coaches -- Praveen Amre, Naresh Churi -- friends for all the support they have given me all the time," he said.

Shardashram coach Naresh Churi praised his protégée, saying, "He was a stubborn guy and would never give up. He always wanted to succeed. If he wasn't picked for a match he would work very hard in the next and score good runs. So that next time there was no way he could be dropped," said Churi. "The best thing is that he has continued the tradition of Shardashram. It was said that the school is finished and is not a cricketing power anymore but he proved everyone wrong," he added.

Nayar said it was sheer hard work that got him through. "I have always believed in my self. My hard work has paid off finally." Nayar has been a vital cog in the Mumbai as well as IPL's Mumbai Indians side. He was one of the heroes in Mumbai's Ranji Trophy win this year. "It is not only because of the way I performed in T20 but my Ranji Trophy performances have helped me," Nayar said.

Mumbai coach Praveen Amre knew that he would make sooner or later. "He has always been a hardworking cricketer and I am happy that he made it. People have misconceptions about his batting, that he is a shorter version player but he has proved everyone wrong by performing in all forms of the game," Amre said.

Nayar's aim is to cement his place in the side. "I've got the opportunity and I would like to seal the berth," he said.

India batsman Rohit Sharma is his friend and he is looking forward to playing with him. "He is a close friend. We have a lot of fun and I am keen to play with him," Nayar said.

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