Keshav Maharaj is having the time of his life. After having what can only be termed as astounding county season where he claimed buckets of wickets- 38 in 5 games. The left-arm spinner is currently in India and is expected to be the spearhead of the bowling unit. To witness what Keshav is up to, he has been joined by his family, who arrived in India to witness the first two Tests in Vishakhapatnam and Pune.
As if spearheading the bowling unit against the likes of Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, and Rohit Sharma wasn’t enough, Keshav could also have to deal with the expectations of his family, who will be in attendance during the first two games.
“It’s good to have family cheering and acknowledging his presence in the team. Further, it identifies us as his faithful fans in terms of support and motivation. What a place to do so than in the Motherland Bharath,” his father Athmanand Maharaj- said over Telephone to BDcrictime.
Keshav Maharaj’s Indian connection
For the uninitiated, Keshav Maharaj is of Indian origin. His father Athmanand is an Indian-born South African who played as a wicket-keeper for the Natal Province. He, however, couldn’t play for South Africa because of the country’s ban from international cricket during the Apartheid era.
Speaking about his son’s early days, Athmanand alluded that the post-apartheid era and the subsequent unification paved way for better facilities and how Keshav used to bowl left-arm seam with him donning the wicket-keeping gloves.
“In my playing days later in my career the cricket fraternity and my fellow cricketing friends used to talk about the scarcity of left arm spinners. The idea crossed my mind and during a coaching session sometime later I gave him a bucket of balls to have a go at left arm spin,” his father said.
But, it was a discussion with fellow cricketing friends at the fag end of his career and a subsequent coaching session that forced Athmanand to develop his son into a leg-spin bowler. He also alluded as to how he short-lived his playing career and invested himself completely into his son’s development.
“That’s was how our journey and his career progressed. Mention has been to make with respect to family sacrifices and support which we still do. I still remain his critic. All in all, he has been an awesome kid with a strong work ethic and focuses. While his journey has begun, we haven’t focused on a destination.”
There is no bigger high than realizing that one is the spearhead of the teams’ bowling. Especially when one is spinner from South Africa; a country where fast bowlers are the real face of the side. Add to it that one’s family is in the stands to cheer on. Not every day, one get to hog the limelight. This is Maharaj’s opportunity to grab it. His family will be waiting for that moment, they always are!
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