Jatin Sapru: Anil bhai’s 10th wicket was surreal

Jatin Sapru fell in love with cricket after Zimbabwe’s tour of India during 1992-93. He got a BDM Kashmir willow bat, designed the Reebok and the Nike logos on his shoes with a ball-point pen and in his head he was ready to make his international debut.

V.V.S. Laxman (middle), Michael Clarke (right) and Jatin Sapru at a media interaction. [File photo]   -  Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Sport is the most important life subject. It educates, it disciplines, it prepares and repairs. It’s a way of life which transcends beyond courts and fields of play.

When I was a kid, my father used to watch a fair amount of cricket. It was during Zimbabwe’s tour of India during 1992-93 that he made me sit down and watch an entire game.

That was it. A BDM Kashmir willow bat was bought. I designed the Reebok and the Nike logos on my shoes with a ball-point pen. In my head, I was ready to make my international debut.

But truth be told, I was a fat kid and initially in the sixth and seventh standard I participated and did fairly well in shot put and javelin throw.

READ | Swapna Barman: 5 events, 12 toes and a stickler for figures!

Serious cricket happened from the ninth standard. But I didn’t have enough funds to enrol into a good cricket academy. But zonal cricket in Delhi was quite big.

So I played two years for the south zone team. Then resumed again during my time in university. As for special memories, there was one at the Feroz Shah Kotla, when Anil bhai [Kumble] snapped the 10th wicket, that moment was surreal [on February 7, 1999, in the second innings of the Test match against Pakistan].

I met Sachin Tendulkar at a promotional event with my uncle who was directing it, and I absolutely froze when I went up for an autograph. I doubt I blinked even once during those 15 minutes.