Six years ago, Avesh Khan was just another cricketer trying to break into the district team. But problems back home were plenty. His father Mohd Ashique Khan ran a small paan shop by the roadside in Indore but the local authorities brought down to widen the road.

Now, Avesh is part of the Indian ‘A’ team playing the warm-up game against West Indies in Vadodara. He picked up four wickets in game and remembers the days of struggle.

“Gumti (paan shop) se papa 500 rupees day kama lete they, ek din sab toot gaya. Suddenly for the next two years, life was full of struggle. I told myself, ‘kuch karna hi padega, aisa nahi chalega’,” Avesh was quoted as saying by Indian Express, remembering the two years his father was jobless.

Despite his father’s keen interest in cricket, Avesh was not able to make it big in the game.

“My father has a great understanding of cricket. But I wanted to excel to make my family happy again. Sabke liye yeh khel tha but for me, it was the source to bring back happiness in my family”.

The breakthrough came when former India batsman Amay Khurasiya’s academy held a trial in Indore. Avesh was picked for the academy and later the Madhya Pradesh under-16 team. Avesh says “Zindagi change hona shuru hui”.

“I remember we used to get 100 rupees allowance in the under-16 team. We had a 17-day camp and I got 1,700 rupees. I didn’t spend it. I went home and gave it to my grandmother, who broke down. Boli ab tu samjhdar ho gaya hai’,” he recalls.

Avesh went on to play for India under-19, India A and in the Indian Premier League and slowly life return on the track. He also helped his father repay his loan, rebuild the old house but he still remained grounded.

The pacer still travels on the scooter which he bought though his friends keep asking him to buy a car. His family has played a big part in keeping the cricketer grounded.

“My mother always said, I have to ensure that money earned is spent properly. Mujhe ghar ka dekhna hai especially after my father lost his gumti and there is no fixed job. My father never allows me to buy a fancy car or fancy clothes. Once, I bought jeans for 4000 rupees, and he said ‘paisa aaram se kharch karo’”.

Read the full story on Indian Express