‘Seize the day’ is Aditya Sarvate’s mantra

The 29-year-old beats odds to script a success story as his all-round effort of 11 wickets and 49 runs helps Vidarbha clinch its second successive Ranji Trophy title.

Aditya Sarvate (right) celebrates the dismissial of Jaydev Unadkat in the Ranji Trophy final.   -  Vivek Bendre

Besides his skillful left-arm spin and stylish batting lower down the order, when you sit down with Aditya Sarvate for a tete-a-tete, twin tattoos on his right hand immediately attract attention. While the script of Gayatri Mantra, engraved on his forearm, gives him “the energy” to overcome all the odds after an unusual upbringing, it’s the two words on his arm “carpe diem” (seize the day) that keep reminding him of making every opportunity count.

The Vidarbha all-rounder couldn’t have asked for a better occasion to live to the meaning of the Latin phrase than the biggest match of the domestic calendar. Sarvate’s all-round effort turned out to be the difference between Vidarbha’s title defence and Saurashtra’s maiden triumph at the VCA Stadium over the last five days.

Read: Sarwate bowls Vidarbha to title win

No wonder then that his 11-wicket match-haul and a crucial innings of 49 runs in the second innings earned him the Man of the Match award in the big final. More than revelling in his accolades, the 29-year-old, though, was thinking of his parents, both of whom were watching the game on TV from the confines of their home a few kilometres away.

Son of a banker couple, Anand and Anushree, Aditya has endured rarest of rare childhoods. After all, his father Anand, a University cricketer, has been wheechair-bound after suffering a road accident more than 25 years ago. As a result, while his team-mates on the local cricket circuit would hang out or rest at home, Aditya would tend to his paralysed father along with his grandparents.

“If you don’t face tough circumstances, you tend to get complacent and start taking things for granted. Obviously it was tough but more than me, my mother has made a lot of sacrifices,” he told Sportstar, after a victory lap along with his team-mates at the VCA Stadium.

Also read: VCA announces Rs 3 crore cash award for victorious Ranji team

“When I was three or three and half years old, my father suffered from an accident (and he has has been paralysed ever since). Since then, she looked after me, took care of the father and not even once did she discourage me from playing cricket. All that she told me was to pursue whatever I liked doing.”

In a country where kids are groomed from a tender age, Sarvate is a relative late-starter and even a late-bloomer. In fact, he admits he started playing seriously “only after being selected for Vidarbha U-19 for the first time”.

A batsman who could bowl a bit, Sarvate started taking left-arm spin more seriously when he made his Ranji Trophy debut with Paras Mhambrey as coach.

Also read: Pandit's Vidarbha elated to prove a point

And the move has worked wonders as in no time, he has played a lion’s share in both of Vidarbha’s triumphant seasons. The last week was a dream ride, with dismissing Cheteshwar Pujara who along with Rahul Dravid is his favourite cricketer for their “grit and technique”, then becoming Vidarbha’s highest wicket-taker in a Ranji season before culminating with the man of the match award.

No point in asking Sarvate what next? After all, he believes in seizing the moment and living in the present.