‘I don’t have any regrets’ – Paul Valthaty shares his cricketing journey and downfall through an Instagram video
Valthaty had a dream run in IPL 2011, starting with the first 100 of the season.
Updated - Aug 19, 2020 6:57 pm
Former Indian cricketer Paul Valthaty is an example of a player who got immense popularity after a powerful performance in the 2011 edition of the Indian Premier League. However, the cricketer couldn’t capitalize on his success and soon got fizzled away from the memory of the cricket fans.
Recently, the all-rounder uploaded a six-minute video on his official Instagram handle wherein he reflects on the highs and lows of his cricketing career. Paul talked in-depth about what went wrong and why he couldn’t make a comeback in the gentleman’s game.
Valthaty had a dream run in IPL 2011 starting with the first 100 of the season. In April 2011, in a match against Chennai Super Kings, he had opened the innings for his IPL team Kings XI Punjab and had played a brilliant inning of 120 runs off 63 balls while chasing a mammoth target of 189 runs.
Sharing his experience of that wonderful night in a video made in collaboration with Brut India, Paul recalled, “The mistakes that I had made in the 2009 edition, they were completely gone, they were erased. I was so ready, I had done so much preparation. Eventually, I reached my 90s and got 100. It was a completely unreal moment.”
“That all these 50,000-70,000 people are cheering on for me. At the beginning of the match because Kings XI Punjab was not known to be that strong a team that edition, we lost our first match very cheaply-the crowd was In Fact cheering for Chennai Super kings. Obviously Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the great Indian captain was there and we had just won the World Cup. So the crowd was actually cheering against us. But then gradually they realized, “Our home team is winning,” he added
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It was a T20 format, it suited my game: Paul Valthaty
Valthaty with a strike rate of 136.98 totalled 463 runs from 14 innings in that edition of the cash-rich league. He overshadowed Adam Gilchrist and was the second-highest scorer after Shaun Marsh for Kings XI. He was also awarded for the best individual performance of the tournament. On this, Paul said that he loved being admired for his game and absolutely adores that phase of his life.
“I was one of the, probably, very few uncapped players who was recognized in such magnitude, at such a big stage. So, that was a great feeling. After that, I got quite a few opportunities. I was picked for the Indian Blue in the Challenger Trophy. I did well in that match as well. You get recognized whenever you go out. People come for autographs and photographs. It felt good. This kind of recognition every sportsman or an artist wants.” the 36-year-old said.
Paul Valthaty shares what went wrong after IPL 2011
Life has not been easy for the former Kings XI Punjab batsman. When the batsman was just 18 year old, he was hit by a ball in the eye due to which he still has problems with vision. However, he overcame the career-stalling injury to give his best shot for his passion. The batsman could stick with his dream of playing a higher level of cricket due to motivation from his friends and family.
However, after 2011 the swashbuckling batsman disappeared and his averages fell drastically in subsequent games. Revealing the reason behind this, Paul said that there was a ganglion in his wrist which made it impossible for him to continue the game. An injury abruptly ended his career.
“Injuries have always been an unwanted guest in my life. Even in 2011 when I got selected for the Challenger Trophy and unknowingly a wrist injury was creeping up on me. There was a ganglion in my wrist. I was naive, I was hungry, I was desperate that I’ll probably pull through the season. But you know you can’t fight against your own body. That wrist ganglion became extremely painful. I couldn’t hold the bat. At times, I couldn’t even give my cap to the umpire,” Paul recalled.
Though the all-rounder tried to make a comeback, he couldn’t withstand the expectations in the 2013 and 2014 editions. As a result, he went unsold in 2014 and that marks the end of his cricket career for India.
“That’s how ruthless professional sport is. You can’t blame anyone. If you’re found to be lacking or if you’re found to be not performing, there are no emotions. So, I don’t have any regrets. I tried for a comeback in 2014 and 15 but the door was completely shut probably and I couldn’t sneak in. I didn’t get that opportunity to make a comeback,” Valthaty added
However, not the one to back out, Paul now plays for Air India, Cricket Club of India, and mentors budding players and works with the Homeground Cricket Academy to be close to his passion. Shedding light on that, Paul says in the video that he is happy to help the budding cricketers of suburban Mumbai who earlier had to travel to Dadar to get professional training.
“I enjoy this role as well. If someone is not able to break open that door of selection or just make them realize their strengths, their weaknesses, I enjoy that aspect as well and probably I’m looking forward to this new phase of aspect and the new phase of my life,” Valthaty concluded.