‘First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, and then you win’ – who would know this better than Ravindra Jadeja !
We love him, we hate him and we ridicule him but for some reason we cannot ignore him. Cricketing performances – good, bad & ugly, social media topic of entertainment – jokes, sarcasm and praises, IPL money – a lot of it; this 24 year old lad from Saurashtra is an enigma.
Sample this ‘highlight’ of his life innings:
- Represented India in Under 19 Cricket World Cup in 2006 at the age of 16
- Vice Captain of Under 19 Cricket World Cup winning team in 2008
- Great Ranji season in 2008-2009 with 42 wickets and 739 runs
- IPL Debut with Rajasthan Royals in 2008 and termed as ‘Rockstar’ by the great Shane Warne
- International Debut in 2009
- National criticism during T20 World Cup in 2009 for scoring too slow
- Dropped from the national team
- Another great IPL season with the Royals and termed as ‘Superstar in making’
- Banned from IPL season for contractual irregularities; another National Shame
- Picked up by Kochi IPL team for USD 950,000 but the franchisee is shut in the same year
- Picked up by CSK IPL team for USD 2 Mn, way above the base price
- Great Ranji season, best known for consecutive triple centuries
- Test Debut in Bilateral series against England
- Significant performance with the ball in Test series against Australia; highlight being dismissal of Michael Clarke five out of six times in the series
- Good IPL season with CSK with a few match winning performances with the ball and the bat
- Praise, Sarcasm and Jokes on Social Media with title of ‘Sir’ and nicknames like SRJ
- Man of the Match in Champions Trophy 2013 and highest wicket taker in the tournament
Born in a sleepy town of Jamnagar in Gujarat, best known for the ‘big’ Reliance refinery, in a very modest household, Jadeja has harboured the dream of playing cricket for the Indian team at a very early age; like million other kids in the country. His father Anirudhsinh’s primary job were that of a watchman. He lost his mother at young age of 17. Amidst all this, he continued to pursue his dream and made it to age level national team and then Ranji team of Saurashtra and eventually to the Indian national team.
In summary, ‘Sir’ Ravindra Jadeja has been through a lot – early struggles in modest family, promising start to the career, drop in form and national criticism, IPL money, IPL ban, dream comeback and now social media praises and jokes. Not many 24 year old in India or for that matter in the World would have such an eventful journey.
Today, Ravindra Jadeja is very much a permanent fixture in the Indian cricket team across all formats. Captain MS Dhoni just loves him more than anyone else. The great Sunil Gavaskar terms him as ‘the role model for yongsters’. Social media just loves him – be it sarcasm, jokes or praise.
Probably, when we see him play next time or read a Twitter/FB Joke or a Meme (none of which is too far away in future), we will have to remind ourselves that we are talking about a young lad in his early twenties who has gone through a lot in life already!