Curated By: Aakash Biswas
Last Updated: September 21, 2023, 14:30 IST
The cricket fever has already gripped the country as it gears up to host 9 teams from across the world for the biggest carnival of the gentlemen’s game – the ICC World Cup 2023, starting October 5 in Ahmedabad. The participants have started assembling in India and will play a few warm-up games before entering the main event. One of them are the Netherlands who have set up their base in Alur, Bengaluru.
A few days ago, Cricket Netherlands rolled out an advertisement on social, calling for net bowlers to aid them in the nets. The Dutch board was overwhelmed with the response they received and shortlisted four Indian guys who would join them in the nets.
One of the four net bowlers is Chennai’s Lokesh Kumar who comes in as a Chinaman bowler. And as learned from the official handle of the Netherlands cricket board, the 29-year-old spinner delivers food for Swiggy for a living.
Lokesh is happy that the Netherlands team recognized his talent and welcomed him with open arms.
“This is one of the most precious moments of my career. I am yet to even play in the TNCA third-division league. I played in the fifth division for four years and I have registered for fourth-division outfit Indian Oil (RO) S&RC for the ongoing season. After being picked by the Netherlands as a net bowler, I feel that my talent has finally been recognised,” Lokesh, who joined the Dutch, was quoted as saying by the Time of India.
“The Netherlands team members welcomed me with open arms; there was an induction ceremony for the net bowlers before the beginning of the session. The players told us: ‘Feel free, this is your team’. I already feel that I am part of the Dutch family.
“After my college days, my entire focus was on cricket. I gave four years to cricket. In 2018, I decided to take up a job. I have been with Swiggy for the last four years. I earn money only by delivering food; I do not have any other source of income. The work timings are flexible and I can take leave whenever I want to. We usually have TNCA league matches only on the weekends, so I work during the weekdays,” he added.
Here are the other 3 net bowlers:
Hemant Kumar, Left-arm Pacer: Hemant works as an assistant administrative officer at the Rajasthan High Court and has bowled in RCB and RR nets in IPL 2022 and 2023, respectively.
Rajmani Prasad, Left-arm Pacer: Prasad has played for Hyderabad State Cricket Association and is currently working with the CSK as a net bowler.
Harsh Sharma, Left-arm Orthodox: A North-zone Inter-University Champion, Sharma also attended the RCB camp in Mumbai last year.