From losing eyesight to cricket World Cup glory: The inspiring journey of Deepak Malik
Cricket is treated as a religion in India and most players who represent the country on the international scene have earned a God-like status in the minds of fans. However, before claiming to be a cricket-crazy nation, the one question that we should ask ourselves is 'Are we really true fans of the game?' or is it just the money and power associated with Indian cricket which attracts us towards it.
The second bit may not hold true for most of us as we have been born into a culture which holds cricket in the highest regard. But that does not make us true fans of the game simply because of the fact that we are concerned primarily with the men's national cricket team and its pursuits. The only other bit of cricket that we are interested in is the Indian Premier League. There are various other forms of cricket that we choose to ignore more often than not such as women's cricket, blind cricket, deaf cricket, physically challenged cricket and so forth.
We keep ourselves up-to-date in terms of information on the likes of Dhoni, Kohli or Yuvraj. But how many of us know the story of Deepak Malik? Not many of us may be acquainted with this name but Deepak is a champion cricketer in his own right. He represents the India's national Blind cricket team and has been part of the 2014 Blind Cricket World Cup and the 2016 Blind T20 Asia Cup winning squads.
Deepak Malik was born in Bhainswal village of Haryana and was a regular school-going kid who garnered dreams of becoming a cricketer when he grows up. But in a cruel twist of fate, he lost his vision as an 8-year old while bursting crackers on Diwali. However, his childhood dream lived on and Malik realized it when he represented India's blind cricket team. In this video, the young cricketer talks about his past life, his biggest achievements and how Zaheer Khan called him a champion.
"In my village, everyone wants to be a champion, some in swimming, some in wrestling and some in gilli-danda. I, too, wanted to be a champion in cricket," narrates Deepak about his early life. He then opens up about the incident that changed his life saying, "But everything doesn't go as planned. I was 8 years old, it was Diwali, there were lights everywhere but the light went out of my life. All my dreams seemed to get lost in a haze."
The 20-year old reveals what his state of mind was and how things took a turn for the better a while later. "I went into a shell after what happened and preferred to stay alone. Even my parents were worried for me. Then someone told them about Delhi's blind school. When I reached there, I realised that there is still hope. The moment the cricket bat came in my hand, I felt like I had got a new life."
"Initially, I couldn't understand what's going on. But I was determined and motivated myself that this is what I want to do. Once the runs started to flow, there was no stopping me. It began with school cricket, then state level and eventually playing for the national team" said the Indian batsman who holds the record for the fastest 50 in blind cricket off just 17 balls against Sri Lanka.
Deepak Malik gives credit to the city of Delhi for making him reach where he is today. He says, "Delhi has supported me throughout this journey. Had I not come here, I wouldn't have got a new life." About his most proud achievement, Malik states, "And then I got the chance that not many get. We beat Pakistan in the World Cup, Asia Cup and T20 and brought all cups back home to India."
"I also played a match with the Delhi Daredevils players. Zaheer Khan told me that I had become a champion and I replied that the innings has just begun," concludes India's blind cricket team superstar as he walks off with Zaheer and other Delhi Daredevils players.