Even as India is busy preparing to take on New Zealand on Thursday, a Chennai-born lad, Adithya Ashok, all of 16, was named in the New Zealand U-19 squad to tour Australia.
Apart from being a prodigious turner of the ball, the highly-rated spin sensation, is fast making heads turn with his precocious talent. Asked about his love for the sport, Adithya replies that cricket runs in his blood. “I started playing when I was seven. My father was my coach, mentor and trainer from the very start. I am a right-handed batsman and a leg spin bowler. I developed my game with regular practice, and since my father had played state and district level cricket back in India, he mentored me well to improve my game,” says the soft-spoken Adithya.
At 13, Adithya had the distinction of leading the national team at the Junior Indoor World Cup in Australia. “He [Adithya] is an exciting prospect. He spins it both ways and he’s a little guy, only 16 and if he was to make this [under-19] World Cup he’ll end up playing two. He’s got a great work ethic and can hold a bat. He’ll end up a genuine allrounder,” said former Test spinner Paul Wiseman, programme lead for the under-19s.
Adithya also received numerous awards as the best batsman from Eden Roskill Cricket Club and also the overall best player for Suburbs New Lynn Cricket Club in 2014 and 2015. If he does make it big one day for the senior team, India, and particularly, Chennai, would have had a huge say in his success.