Tracing Pappu Roy's journey - The cricketer who got picked for India C in Deodhar Trophy

On the back of strong performances in Vijay Hazare Trophy, Pappu Roy has been selected to play for India C in Deodhar Trophy.

Pappu Roy
Pappu Roy. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Mohsin Kamal

Jr. Staff Writer

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Pappu Roy- a Bengal born cricketer who plays for Odisha in domestic cricket is the new inspiring story emerging in Indian cricket. The left-arm spinner has arrived at the top-level cricket after a heart-wrenching journey. Pappu who lost his parents in the early childhood, on Thursday made it to the Ajinkya Rahane-led India C team for the upcoming Deodhar Trophy.

He would be playing alongside some greats of Indian cricket including Rahane, Suresh Raina etc. Overwhelmed with the joy of getting an opportunity to make it big, Pappu recalled his voyage when bowling and taking wickets earned him the food for lunch and dinner.

“Bhaiya log bulate the aur bolte the ball dalega toh khana khilaoonga. Aur har wicket ka 10 rupaiya dete the. (Seniors in my locality used to summon me to bowl and gave me Rs 10 per wicket),” Papu was quoted as saying by India Today.

After losing his parents, Pappu lived with his uncle and aunt for some years but once his uncle, a daily labourer, also passed away, he struggled to even arrange one meal a day. However, he currently lives at a rented place in Kolkata’s Picnic Garden.

“Unko (parents) kabhi dekha nahin… Kabhi gaon gaya nahin, khali suna hai (Never seen them nor have I been anytime to my native. I’ve only heard about them). Wish they were here today to see me playing for India C. I could not sleep whole night yesterday and kept crying. I think my years and years of hard work is finally paying off now,” Roy said while remembering his old times.

Was a medium pacer initially

Pappu Roy initially started playing cricket as a medium pacer though his coach at a Kolkata academy advised him to become the spinner. This move worked as he finished the 2nd Division league 2011 as highest wicket-taker for Dalhousie club.

However, as the spin duo of Iresh Saxena and Pragyan Ojha were in their prime days, Pappu couldn’t find a place in the Bengal team. He later decided to try his luck in the neighbouring state- Odisha.

Luckily, he found a couple of friends there who helped him with the food and shelter. “My friends (Muzaqir Ali Khan and Asif Iqbal Khan) whom I met here told me they would provide me with food and shelter. So Odisha became my home,” he added while thanking them for helping him in his hard days.

In 2015, Pappu finally made his entry to the Odhisha U-23 team and within three years, he finished making it to the senior side. Promptly, he started taking regular scalps for his team. He finished Vijay Hazare Trophy with 14 wickets in 8 matches, owning him the Deodhar Trophy call-up.

Pappu Roy hopes for at least a single chance in playing XI to showcase his skills during the tournament. “Hopefully, I will get a chance and I will give my best. It will be a great learning experience,” he signed off.

~Written by Mohsin Kamal