Adityasinh Jadeja is the third player from Kutch in three decades to get selected in the Saurashtra Ranji squad, thanks to APSEZ
Millions of young people dream of becoming cricket stars, making it to the heights of the Ranji Trophy and one day even the Indian national team. Mandvi, a beach town in the Kutch district of Gujarat, is best known for being the birthplace of Shyamji Krishna Varma, the scholar and freedom fighter who founded the Indian Home Rule Society.
Despite the odds, though, Adityasinh Jadeja has become just the third player, in three decades, from Kutch to play first-class cricket on the Saurashtra Ranji Trophy squad. Having already played for the Saurashtra Under-19 and Under-20 teams, Jadeja’s rise has been steady. Despite his youth, Jadeja, a promising left-handed quick bowler, was the eighth pick in the 16-man squad.
As with all players who reach such a high level, Aditya worked incredibly hard on improving his game and overcoming every obstacle and challenge in his path. Brought up in the small village of Nani Khakhar, in Mandvi Taluka, Aditya’s passion and cricket talent became quickly apparent.
As a boy, he was always to be found at a local cricket ground, practicing. His father, Hanubhai, spotted his son’s unusual gift and though money was scarce decided to take his son to Mumbai. In the metropolis — a dramatic change from NaniKhakhar — Aditya trained with his father and studied hard. Aditya was determined to excel both on the field and at school, knowing the sacrifices his family was making so that he could have a chance to succeed.
Hard-working and diligent, Aditya achieved good grades and improved his game. But he and his father knew that he needed more financial help to make the most of his talent and reach the highest levels of the game.
At a loss for how to raise money, Hanubhai told the village elders of his difficulties and they encouraged him to approach the nearby Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ) for sponsorship. Hanubhai, despite his misgivings, did what he was advised and was surprised by the speed with which Rakshit Shah, executive director at APSEZ, stepped forward to help.
With the necessary finance now available, Aditya was able to train with the highly respected coach Mohansinh Jadeja who is based in the small city of Gondal in the Rajkot district. Soon Aditya’s skills blossomed, and his outstanding form brought him to the attention of cricket scouts and selectors. His growing reputation earned him a call-up to elite age-group teams, including Saurashtra’s Ranji squad.
An elated Hanubhai Jadeja said, “Our happiness knew no bounds when Aditya was picked for the Ranji team.” He was quick to give credit to APSEZ to which, he says, “The family “will always be grateful. They believed in us and stood strong beside us even when all seemed lost.”
Rakshit Shah, executive director, APSEZ said, “We have always made it a point to support deserving athletes in the area.” “Seeing new, young talent from the Kutch district making outstanding performances at state and national-level sports is a matter of pride. For Aditya, it has been a fruitful association. India’s sporting authorities will hope there’s even more talent to be discovered and promoted from Kutch”.