The Under-19 World Cup has rarely seen anything like the dominance displayed by India in the latest edition in New Zealand. Led by Prithvi Shaw and coached by Rahul Dravid, the boys in blue looked invincible throughout the tournament as they marched unbeaten to the title. The prodigies of the team – Shaw (261 runs in five innings) and Shubman Gill (372 runs in five innings) – testified their high ratings. But hitherto unheard of talents also came into the spotlight – speedster Kamlesh Nagarkoti one among them.
One of the anecdotes involve him, fellow pacer Shivam Mavi and the team’s opener Manjot Kalra. The trio were atop a mountain in Queenstown giving an interview. They were tempted to engage in “adventure activities there” but Dravid, he said, did not permit.
“He said the tournament was going on, and there was no point in taking any risk,” Nagarkoti said. “He would allow us to do a few things here and there, but we had to be back in our hotel by a certain time.”
Did they ever think of breaking his curfew?
“Actually we were a bit scared of sir. And we thought we should not break the curfew, so we never did it. (smiles) Honestly we didn’t. Well, we did think about it a few times but then we reasoned that ‘nahi yaar, sir would have had something in mind when putting a curfew in place, so let’s follow it’, adding that he hopes to take a late night stroll in Australia sometime in the future.
The youngster from Jaipur also revealed that Dravid’s was the first autograph he got, when he was with the team in the Asia Cup.
Asked about his first foreign tour (to England) he said, “There was a lot of excitement about how it would be. You only watch such places on TV before, how clean everything is and all that. To actually see it felt really good. People there are very frank and that was also something to learn from, how they deal with things. You have to follow traffic rules, for instance, no matter how late you are getting.”
Nagarkoti is excited about making his Indian Premier League debut along with some of his colleagues in March. “Manjot (Delhi Daredevils) was telling me ki bachke rehna, maarunga mere saamne aayega toh (Beware I will hit you when you come on to bowl at me). All of us have played against each other a lot and know each other’s games,” he said.
Read the full interview here.