India U-19 player Shubman Gill’s father is elated at the performance of his son in the ongoing World Cup in New Zealand, stating that the youngster has always been a dedicated cricketer.

“Shubman has always been dedicated to the game of cricket. I am very happy and proud of my son’s performance in the ongoing World Cup,” Gill’s father Lakhwinder Singh said.

“We are elated with his century in the match against Pakistan as well as defeating the Pakistani team,” he said.

Asked when Gill showed his inclination towards cricket, Lakhwinder said he had always been passionate about the game since the age of three. “Shubhman never liked any other toy. He always loved playing with the bat and ball. He used to play with a bat and a ball even before going to bed,” he said.

Gill’s family belongs to Punjab’s Fazilka. “We fully supported him for achieving his dream to become a cricketer. We dedicated 15 years to help him become a world class cricketer.

We even left our work and skipped several family functions including marriage ceremonies of our relatives so that we could dedicate as much time as we could on him,” said Lakhwinder, who is now based at Mohali.

The 18-year-old scored an unbeaten 102 to help India rout arch-rivals Pakistan by 203 runs in the U-19 World Cup semi-final match in Christchurch on Tuesday.

Gill, who was bought by Kolkata Knight Riders for Rs 1.8 crore in the Indian Premier League players’ auction, is the team’s leading scorer in the World Cup with 341 runs.

(With PTI inputs)