The 21-year-old Mathivanan cleaned up the Nellai Royal Kings tail with astonishing figures of 0.4-0-0-3 in his first appearance, giving everyone a glimpse of the bag of tricks he has up his sleeve. Building on the eye-catching performance at the MA Chidambaram Stadium here, the Thiruvallur-based lad has added five more wickets to his TNPL 2021 tally.
Mathivanan is also a live wire on the field, possessing the ability to pluck the ball out of thin air and cut vital runs from the opposition’s total. Despite attracting plenty of interest in a short span of time, the Warriors tweaker remains a humble human being and hasn’t forgot the modest beginnings that he worked his way from.
“I am happy for what I have achieved so far, but I need to improve on a few areas in my game. Only because of the constant support of my team, have I been able to perform well,” Mathivanan, who has eight scalps from six TNPL Season 5 matches at an excellent economy rate of 5.57, told DT Next.
“My coaches and teammates have been backing me from the first day. Our captain Rahil Shah is also a left-arm spinner and is an experienced campaigner. He has been teaching me about how to react to different situations. When I bowl in matches, he constantly talks and guides me,” said Mathivanan.
The road to the top was long and hard, but Mathivanan climbed up the ladder at a steady pace. The youngster took up the sport seriously around 15 years of age in spite of challenging circumstances at home, thanks to his friends Subash and Prem.
“At that time, I didn’t have money to attend coaching classes. But, they helped me pursue professional cricket by paying the fees. With their assistance, I joined the Kannan Cricket Academy, which was run by Raghunath sir and Loganathan sir, at the Hindu College in Pattabiram,” revealed Mathivanan, a son of a sweet shop watchman.
After honing skills at the academy, Mathivanan launched his career by turning out for Thiruvallur at age-group tournaments. He also earned deals with Standard CC and TI Cycles in the Thiruvallur League and the TNCA League respectively, in recent years. Having impressed the TNPL scouts, Mathivanan was called up for trials ahead of the 2021 draft.
“I train under Ganesan sir at Standard CC. My performances at the divisional stage have got me here. My father and mother never thought that I would reach this level. Now that I am playing in a tournament like the TNPL, they are delighted,” said Mathivanan, who stays in a cramped home at Avadi along with his parents and sisters.