Born To A Widow Bus Conductor Mother, Atharva Ankolekar's 5 Wickets Lead India U-19 To Asia Cup
The final of the U-19 Asia Cup saw one of the most tense clashes between the young cricketers of India and Bangladesh when the former won the toss and decided to bat first but managed to put up just 106 runs between their opponents and the trophy.
With the Indian batting order not being able to put on an impressive performance at the crease, a good chunk of the responsibility of winning the match now rested on the bowlers' shoulders, who, least to say, performed at the highest level.
Defending such a below-average total, the Indian bowling attack incredibly managed to restrict Bangladesh to 101, dismissing their entire batting order within 33 overs to win the final and the brilliant Asia Cup that came along as bragging rights.
Congratulations India U-19 #AsiaCupU19pic.twitter.com/FcdzRD5Ycu— Jugabrat Sarma(Juman)💙🇮🇳💙 (@Jugabrat39) September 14, 2019
One of the biggest role-players in this victory came in the form of 18-year-old spinner, Atharva Ankolekar, who completed his five-wicket-haul with an excellent economy of just 3.50 runs per over.
For his stats of 5 for 28 runs in eight overs, Ankolerkar was recognised as the 'Man of the Match' and also turned out to be the highest wicket-taker of the tournament.
“I just hope that his father would have seen this. He made his father proud today, he made everyone proud today,” Vaidehi told The Indian Express.
Born in Mumbai, Atharva hasn't seen a very fortunate childhood.
With his father Vinod Ankolekar having passed away when the cricketer was just 10 years old, his mother, Vaidehi Ankolekar had to take up a job as a bus conductor with Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) in India's financial capital to make ends meet for her two sons.
Maybe, it is because of such an upbringing that Atharva's understanding of hard work and its transition into success comes so easily to him. Regardless of how much media coverage the young cricketer gets, he continues to remain self-critical and willing to improve as an athlete.
“He said, 'News have come in all the papers but I am not too happy with my performances',” says his mother.
He also wishes to help her mother quit the job of a bus conductor and teach young kids in a school, where she will be away from all the stress and body aches that she suffers from regularly.
“I don't want my mother to continue her job. I want her to teach, let me do all the hard work,” Atharva had said ahead of the tournament.