Mahatma Gandhi once said India’s strength lies in its rural areas. The saying can be applied to almost every walk of life, but it is most applicable to sport in the country. With over 70% of the country’s population located in rural areas, it’s only natural for talent to seep through from there.Sure, the lack of infrastructure and financial resources makes it very difficult for athletes from these areas to make it amongst the crème de la crème. That being said, there are several sportspersons who have defied the odds to make it to the top.Here are five sportspersons who hail from the rural areas in India:
#1 Umesh Yadav (Cricket)
The Indian national cricket team pacer grew up in Valani, a miner village near Khaperkheda in the Nagpur district of Maharashtra. Before becoming a professional cricketer, Yadav had unsuccessfully attempted to join the Army and Police.
While playing tennis ball cricket in Pandharkawda village in the Yavatmal district as a 20-year old, his friend received a call from the Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) asking him to bowl the next day.
He didn’t have any shoes at that point, but now Yadav is one of the hottest properties in Indian cricket.
From Nagpur to New Zealand, it’s been quite a journey for the 27-year-old.