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No Fear No Favour

Kuldeep thought of suicide when snubbed by selectors early in his career

Kuldeep Yadav might be Indian cricket Team’s latest rising star but there was a dark phase in his life when he thought of giving up cricket and commit suicide.

In a short span, Kuldeep, a chinaman bowler, has tasted success early in his international career including becoming the third ever Indian bowler to claim an ODI hat-trick. He made his international debut in March this year, against Australia in Dharamsala Test, making an immediate impression. Since then, he has been a part of two Tests (9 wickets), 12 ODIs (19 wickets) and 5 T20Is (6 wickets). The spinner swears by simplicity and loves being called ‘Kanpuria launda’ (Kanpur lad).

True to his image, Kuldeep was happy to reach out when he found himself amid his fans, including young girls, posing for selfies with him and signing autographs.

However, the 22-year-old did manage to turn things around for him and has been a crucial part of Men in Blue’s shorter formats.

But before the success, he had to endure failure at the age of 13 when selectors ignored him for Uttar Pradesh’s under-15 team.

Making this confession, Kuldeep, 22, said he had made up his mind not to pursue the game again, ever. “I had worked hard for my selection, but when I was not picked, I mentioned suicide in frustration. It happens to everyone in the heat of the moment,” he said on Saturday.

After idolising Pakistan pace great Wasim Akram initially, he made Australian spin legend Shane Warne his role model. “I keep watching videos of Warne. His grip on the ball, length of deliveries and use of the crease are unbeatable. I try to learn from the footage,” said Kuldeep, who has taken nine wickets in two Tests after making a winning debut against Australia at Dharamsala in March.

Kuldeep, who is hooked to PlayStation 4, has been training hard at his favourite Nagar Palika ground in Kanpur. He will join the India team at least for the first two Tests against Sri Lanka. The series starts on November 16 with the first game in Kolkata.

“PS4 is my favourite (video) game and it helps me understand and solve the problems of life. I don’t stop thinking about the game even when I am home and enjoying my mother’s home-cooked food.”

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