Ravindra Jadeja's father to not be present during the India-England Rajkot Test
Jadeja will be playing his first Test in front of his home fans.
The Indian state of Gujarat has in the past had two cricketing venues to boast of and on Wednesday, its adjacent province will get its chance to play host to the longer format of the game.
The city of Rajkot will be the latest venue to join the ever-growing number of Indian grounds and two local boys – Ravindra Jadeja and Cheteshwar Pujara – will be a part of the Indian team for the game.
While the latter’s father will be present at the venue to watch his son play, it won’t be the case with the former.
The reason? Jadeja’s father is presently on a pilgrimage with a few friends who have come down to India from the United Kingdom, and he will be back to his hometown only by the end of this week.
"I was looking forward to watching the first Test but that won't be possible now. I've some guests from London and I'm currently with them on a pilgrimage to Ambaji, Mount Abu and other places in Rajasthan. I won't be returning before November 13 – the last day of the Test," Anirudhsinh Jadeja told Mid-Day on Monday.
When asked about his expectations from his son on home turf, he said that Jadeja would do well with the blessings of the Rajkot supporters. He also praised his son for his down-to-earth nature, despite having become a big cricketer.
"Ravindra enjoys the benefit of the people's blessings here in Saurashtra. He hasn't reached his peak, but I'm sure he will soon. What is important is that despite his success and stardom, he hasn't forgotten his humble origins. Unlike many star cricketers, he remains firmly down-to-earth and extremely religious," he said.
Despite not being able to make it to the game, Mr. Jadeja expressed happiness over the city getting a chance to host the game and hoped for it to get more games in the future.
“But, I'm very happy that a Test match has finally come to Rajkot, something which was only a dream a few years ago. It's a very proud moment for the people of Saurashtra and I'm sure Rajkot will keep getting opportunities to host Test matches,” he said.
Rajkot has played host to a few ODI games in the past and India have not enjoyed a good time in those matches. Its last international game was the 50-over match between India and South Africa, where chasing 271 for a win, the hosts looked on course but failed to close it down, eventually suffering an 18-run loss.