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Exclusive Interview With Aryan Irani: I Am A Left Arm Spinner, Thanks To Chandrakant Pandit

Aryan Irani represented the Mumbai team in the under 14 & 16 levels. (Photo by Binaisha M. Surti)

God gives each one of us numerous talents, and it is all the hard work that transforms talented individuals into a complete ‘genius’. For cricketer Aryan Irani success did not just come and find him, in fact he worked extremely hard, put his whole heart and soul during practise sessions, went out there in the middle and garnered it. This left arm leg spinner and lower order batsman is an extremely talented cricketer who has already represented the Mumbai team in the under 14 and 16 levels. He is also a student at the Chandrakant Pandit Cricket Clinic (CPCC) who trains under the watchful eyes of the great man Chandrakant Pandit. He is one of the lucky few in the cricketing circuit to have met the great man Ramakant Achrekar. CricFit author Binaisha M. Surti met this dynamic youngster at the Mumbai Cricket Association where he spoke to her about his early days, cricketing achievements, Coach Chandrakant Pandit, his precious meeting with the great man Erapalli Prasanna and lots more.

Aryan Firdos Irani always loved sports and knew right from the very beginning that he wanted to do something in this field. Being extremely fond of soccer and cricket, he landed up playing both games during his formative years. Later when it came to choosing one he opted for cricket. Along with pursuing a career in cricket he looks to become an engineer too. Initially the fifteen year old lad started off as a fast bowler, further becoming a wicket-keeper. He has tried his hand at everything but finally has become a left arm leg spinner, as that works best for him.

We first discussed as to why cricket is so special to him. He told us “Cricket is special in a lot of ways…cricket involves physics more than anything. I look up to Ashwin even though he is not a left arm spinner. I have read that how he uses physics to enhance his bowling. There are particular ways and methods such that you can make the ball drift in the air. The angle of the seam when you are gripping the ball does matter. I have taken all these factors into account to enhance my bowling too. Either you give everything you have to cricket or you don’t give it anything at all.”

Further talking about how he finally became a spinner he said “One day it all started with Chandrakant Pandit sir thinking that I was fooling around and bowling wrist spin. It is very rare to bowl wrist spin, so he confronted me and told me as to why I was fooling around. I said that I genuinely did not know how to bowl left arm spin. I went through four months of training. He taped my hand and made me bowl as a finger spinner. Thanks to him, I am a left arm spinner now. Then I was recognised by my school too as I was doing well so I got the young achievers award.”

Next we spoke about how he transformed his dream of becoming a cricketer into reality. Aryan said “During my early days my father would watch a lot of football and cricket. So automatically I too started watching and within no time was engrossed into it. I have been exposed to cricket from a very young age. So basically cricket is in my genes as my father too is very much into it. It all began after my selection in the under 14 summer camp where I performed well and from there on wards it was no looking back.”

With eyes filled with happiness and excitement he walks us through the memory lane of all his bowling achievements till date in the cricketing circuit. “Playing the Scorpio Cup in the under 13 age group I picked up 2 important wickets. From there on wards I was picked in the MCA under 14 Summer Camp and the Varroc Cup… I bowled 74 overs and picked up 18 wickets. In the Dronacharya Ramakant Achrekar Cricket Tournament I went on to scalp 11 wickets. Having played 2 matches in the Giles Shield, I picked up 11 wickets. This particular tournament was a very memorable one as it changed my life in a big way. I batted well too having scored 65 runs and 72 runs respectively in the 2 innings.”

His best was yet to come during his under 16 days as he snared 3 wickets in a single game of the Payyade Trophy. While playing in the Kalpesh Kohli Tournamen the grabbed 15 wickets in the 3 matches that he played in. Aryan took 10 wickets in a match and was further awarded the Man of the Match. He also won the purple cap for his 10 wicket haul.

Aryan Irani with Chandrakant Pandit and Ramakant Achrekar
Aryan Irani with Chandrakant Pandit and Ramakant Achrekar

Speaking to us about who his biggest inspiration was when it came to choosing the game. He quickly added that it was his father Firdos Irani. “When I saw the parent’s team playing in the CPCC match, I enjoyed it so much that I landed up staying on the field for the full day. My father too scored a ton while playing in a match. When he shared such stories with me I was fired up in a big way.”

Sharing his thoughts on how he thinks one step ahead of the batsmen he said “I try and play with the mind of the batsman, this in turn frustrates them. I make my bowling hard for them to read, it keeps them guessing as to how the next delivery will be. Thus batsmen automatically make mistakes. Chandrakant Sir always told us that cricket is more of a mind game than anything, it is all about being patient in the middle.”

Telling us about his coach Chandrakant Pandit “He is disciplined but at the same time a very co-operative person too. He always wants his players to do well.”

This dynamic lad remembers the precious moments spent with the great cricketer Erapalli Prasanna during a cricket camp. Aryan said “Prasanna Sir told us that a bowler’s job is to always hit the stumps. Every ball that you bowl you have to think and believe that it will go onto hit the deck.” Indeed a valuable advice for all cricketers.

Sharing who his current favourites are today in the cricketing world. “When it comes to batting I like Virat Kohli, according to me Sanju Samson is a good wicket keeper as he is both young and swift. On the other hand in the bowling department I prefer the spin twins of Indian cricket Ashwin and Jadeja.” He finally signed off by saying that his goal is to now play well in all the matches as he looks to get selected in the under 19 Mumbai team. He takes each day as it comes and wants to give his best everytime he walks out on the field.

CricFit wishes this youngster all the very best for his future endeavours!




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