Vihari excited to play first Test in front of home crowd

Hanuma Vihari, who was in Hyderabad to attend a felicitation ceremony at St. John's Coaching Foundation, was praised by India legend V. V. S. Laxman.

Hanuma Vihari was felicitated by St. John's Coaching Foundation, where he learnt the basics as a kid before making it big.

Hanuma Vihari was felicitated by St. John's Coaching Foundation, where he learnt the basics as a kid before making it big.   -  Special Arrangement

For Test cricketer Hanuma Vihari, it was 'homecoming', when he was felicitated by St. John's Coaching Foundation, where he learnt the basics as a kid before making it big.

And, quite fittingly, elegant Hyderabadi V.V.S. Laxman, who incidentally also mastered the nuances of the sport at the same venue, was the guest of honour and appreciated the rise of Vihari in the world of cricket.

"Vihari's career is a shining example of how one reaches the highest level if only he or she shows the desired commitment, passion and hard work. It is a terrific achievement to be in the Indian team and even more great that he made a huge impact with his grit and determination," Laxman said.

Founder of the St. John's Foundation and Vihari's mentor, K. John Manoj, said they were privileged to have such a determined young talent from the centre.

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"In a way, he is a role model for many of the current crop of trainees here. Wish many of them try to emulate the feat of Vihari," he said.

Former India cricketer M.V. Narasimha Rao, who played his bit in the evolution of Laxman in the formative days of the latter's career, also lauded Vihari and wished he would continue to do well.

Former Andhra Ranji captain V. Chamundeswaranath was also present.

Vihari thanked each and every one at the Foundation for helping him to go up the ladder.

"Now I have the bigger responsibility after a very satisfying West Indies tour recently. And, yes, I am excited to play my first Test in front of home crowd (he is now representing Andhra in Ranji for the last couple of seasons) when India takes on South Africa from October 2, in Visakhapatnam," he said.

"I would definitely love to make it a special appearance for myself and for the team," Vihari concluded.