Chirag Suri is an Indian-born Emirati cricketer. Chirag played under-19 Cricket World Cup in 2014 and was one of the six associate Cricketers in the 2017 Indian Premier League auction. He was also selected to play for the Toronto nationals franchise team in 2019 Global T20 Canada Tournament. One of our finest cricketers, Chirag Suri in a chat with team Storiyaan talks about cricket and his life off the cricket field.
Questions and answers
Chirag can you tell us, when was the first time you knew you wanted to be a cricketer?
I think when you’re born into a household in India, you are expected to know about cricket. My dad always loved cricket too so, from a very young age maybe, 5-6 when I got the first proper cricket bat I wanted to be a cricketer.
What is the thrill of a cricket game to you?
The fun for me is just playing the game in front of so many people, following my passion is the biggest thrill for me.
You’re a major batsman. Do you look up to any other batsmen whose style you admired, or enjoyed?
I’ve always enjoyed Virat, but recently I admire Yuvraj Singh not only for his match-winning abilities but his character and persona off the field is just brilliant.
You’ve played for the Emirati cricket team. You’ve played in the Under 19 World Cup. Can you talk to us a little about sportsmanship along with the experience you’ve had as a very young player?
It’s essential to be a team player, and cricket is not an individual sport so the time we spend with our teammates and friends I’ve made along the way even with opponents, it’s a blessing. I’ve met some great people along the way who I have learned so much from.
What was your reaction when you were picked up by the Gujarat Lions- which meant playing for the IPL?
It was a great feeling to get selected for the IPL. It’s every young cricketer’s dream, and for my family and me, it was just something unbelievable. I was extremely blessed to be part of the IPL. I learned so much about what it takes to play at the highest level.
You quite often are seen teaching or coaching budding cricketers. How does it feel, to be in that position- when you’re so young yourself?
Honestly, I love coaching and mentoring youngsters as knowledge shared is knowledge squared! So it’s great to mentor and teach because I learn so much along the way.
We were wondering if you could talk about sacrifices and confidence- when it comes to a sport like cricket as there are selections. You win some, you lose some. How does one balance themselves?
Look, every cricketer goes through a heartbreak at some point in their lives. I remember my experience of being overweight and I had failed a fitness test and wasn’t included in the squad for the u-19 Asia cup. But, I bounced back. I knew it was up to me and if I worked hard enough nobody would be able to stop me.
Who inspires you, both: in the game as well as in general?
My family are the source of inspiration around me. I’m lucky they have always supported me to do what I love.
Do you have a favorite sport aside from cricket?
I like all kinds of games, be it tennis or football. However, I am only passionate about cricket.
You have a very important match to play in. Take us through your preparations before the game.
How was it to play with the Toronto Nationals at the 2019 Global T20 Canada?
It was a lot of fun to play in Toronto. It is an amazing place with great people and to play alongside my childhood hero was just fantastic.
Lastly, if you weren’t a cricket player, what’d you do?
I don’t know what I would do if not cricket, but I’m lucky enough to be good at math so I would be a bus