"Yuvraj Singh advised me to never give up", says Bandra Blasters' Sujit Nayak
Cricket, a sport which has the power to pause time in India. The sport is played almost everywhere and at least once in his childhood, every boy dreams of stepping on to the field in the India jersey. Some dreams turn into reality whereas some fade away with time and the lack of opportunities. To provide a platform for youngsters, the Mumbai Cricket Association came up with a league called the T20 Mumbai League.
The second season was dominated by the North Mumbai Panthers who were led by the young prodigy Prithvi Shaw. Eight teams battled it to out for the trophy but more importantly, the league witnessed the emergence of star players whose performances have been appreciated by fans across Mumbai. SoBo Supersonics' Sujit Nayak was one such player who grabbed the limelight for his performances.
In an exclusive chat with Sportskeeda, Sujit talked about his experience in the league and focuses on his idol, Yuvraj Singh.
"It's been a fantastic experience. This platform has given me an opportunity to showcase my skills and I''m grateful to the Mumbai Cricket association and probability sports who’ve conducted this tournament on such a great scale. I want to better my performance every season", said Sujit while talking about the T20 Mumbai League.
Sujit once weighed over 130 KGs and cricket seemed a distant dream for him.
"It’s been a difficult road. Reliance one team spotted my talent, they’ve taken great care of me and that has motivated me to lose the extra weight and people like Afzal Khan, Rahul Sanghvi, Paras Mhambrey, Kiran More, Patrick Farhart, these guys played a crucial role in me understanding the sport, fitness and the nutrititon. They worked really hard for me".
The 29-year-old had an opportunity to feature in the Indian Premier League in 2012 and 2013, Sujit was a part of the Mumbai Indians and the Delhi Daredevils.
During his time at the two franchises he shared the dressing room with players legends such as Sachin Tendulkar, Mahela Jayawardene, Lasith Malinga, and David Warner.
"It was a great learning experience. Sharing the dressing room with those legends. I used to learn and observe the way they approach cricket as a sport. I used to learn from them and speak to them about things like their thought process. These guys really helped me to grow as a person and as a cricketer. Those three years were memorable".
''The post took me by surprise and I'm grateful for that mention. I was really happy that Yuvraj Singh noticed my performance, he has always been backing and motivating me. He feels that I could take my cricket to the next level, he has treated me like a younger brother and a friend. I was left speechless", Nayak said while talking about Yuvraj Singh's post and his elation.
Yuvraj Singh has had a positive impact on Sujit's life and the veteran India all-rounder has been his inspiration since his childhood. that
''I was lucky enough to meet him during the DY Patil T20 tournament. He has been an inspiration and a true hero for me. I've watched him from the Natwest series to the 2011 World Cup. When I met him I asked him questions like what he does before going out to bat".
At one point of time, the 29-year-old Sujit thought of giving up cricket because of his age but his idol, Yuvraj Singh advised him to 'never give up'.
"He said never give up. I was having a conversation with him and I asked him if I should continue to pursue my passion because I’ve already turned 29. Yuvraj recollected his memories back from 2011 when he was detected with cancer, he explained to me how people thought he would never come back to cricket but he battled the disease and played international cricket again".
"With this motivation, I'm in a better state of mind. I would like to be back in the IPL circuit and slowly and gradually go up the ladder. Honestly speaking, there are lot of dynamics which are not in your hand, you can go out there and perform", Sujit said.