When Rocky met the Rockstar

Rocky Dubey, an 11-year-old who is battling cancer, got to meet his inspiration in Yuvraj Singh during Kings XI Punjab's practice session ahead of its meeting on Saturday.

Yuvraj Singh gifts a Kings XI Punjab shirt to Rocky Dubey at Indore.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Under the bright lights at the Holkar Cricket Stadium on Thursday night, the Kings XI Punjab players were practising intensively, ahead of their IPL match with Kolkata Knight Riders. Among the onlookers was 11-year-old Rocky Dubey.

He looked quite happy. He had just met his favourite cricketer Yuvraj Singh, who had given him a jersey of KXIP, a cap and a schoolbag. You wouldn’t have imagined that little Ricky, with his rosy, chubby cheeks and shy smile, had been battling blood cancer ever since he was one-year-old.

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He has recently had a course of chemotherapy and will soon be undergoing surgery for a bone-marrow transplant; his father is the donor. He is too young to know what is wrong with him.

Nor does he know that Yuvraj himself is a cancer survivor (he was diagnosed with a tumour in his lung but came strongly back to the Indian team for the ICC World T20 in Sri Lanka in 2012).

When someone spoke to Rocky about Yuvraj’s successful fight against the disease, he was puzzled and looked at his mother Harsha. She smiled and told him: “Son, he is asking you about the infection in your blood.”

His elder sister Pranjali had also accompanied him to the ground. “Rocky is quite good at studies; he is studying in Class V at Scholars Paradise School here at Indore,” she said.

Her mother chipped in: “He scored 95 per cent in his last examination. He loves cricket. We have not been able to watch any of the IPL games yet, but we had watched the India-New Zealand Test match here in 2016.”

That was the first ever Test for this venue. The IPL has come here because KXIP chose it as its second venue. Its main home ground is Mohali. Rocky must be happy that the KXIP management chose to play four of its seven matches in his hometown. He could thus have a rendezvous with his hero.

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