In July 2019, after the end of the fourth season of the Tamil Nadu Premier League(TNPL), head coach of the Chepauk Super Gillies franchise Hemang Badani asked reporters to keep a very close eye on young seam talent Ganeshan Periyasamy.
The talented 25-year-old fast bowler got the nickname ‘’Salem Slinger’’ as his action resembled Lasith Malinga. Hemang Badani and Chepauk Super Gillies plotted a strategy to keep their first pick from the player draft under wraps. And that strategy paid off really well.
Chepauk Super Gillies won their second TNPL title on the back of “Salem Slinger” and his fantastic returns. He picked up 21 wickets in the season at an average of 10.47 and at an economy rate of 6.7 including a five fer in the finals. His franchise had a very specific role for him- to attack the stumps.
He had a very simple and humble background. His success can become an inspiration for many as apart from the financial issues he has faced growing up, he also an issue with his eyesight from birth that impaired him through his childhood.
His impressive stint in TNPL is making heads turn
Speaking to the official broadcaster Star Sports, Periyasamy spoke about how the eye problem meant he did not have a lot of friends growing up, forcing him to drop out of school after class seven. Since then, cricket has been his life. His journey began with the tennis ball before he graduated to the red-ball cricket at the Under-19 district-level in 2012.
After that he was in and out of the side and owing to the tough financial situation at home, the speedster decided to quit the game and enter the business. But another seam bowling talent hailing from the same town T. Natrajan who made it big by getting picked up by Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in the IPL, was the reason to reignite lost hope and passion in the Super Gillies fast bowler.
Former Tamil Nadu captain Prasanna, who helped the pacer seal a deal with second-division club UFCC (T. Nagar) in the TNCA league, said as quoted by Sportstar, “One good thing about him is the fact that he was accurate with the tennis ball and that helped him transfer the skill to a leather ball though the difference between the two is huge. He was very good in the limited matches he played last year and was able to maintain the intensity on the field over 50 overs.”
The former TN captain also noted that unlike many other pacers, he has a very good arm and he is extremely quick in the outfield. With IPL teams looking for multi-talented players, he could be a big attraction ahead of next year’s players’ auction.
~ Written by Raghav Ravichandran
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