Knew Ranji show would not go in vain: Parvinder Awana
In early 2007, Parvinder Awana was in two minds. He didn't know whether to opt for the security of a government job and join the Delhi Police, or to continue to bowl fast and hope for a break. He finally decided to follow his heart and pursue cricket.
His efforts bore fruit on Sunday, as he was picked for the fourth Test against England at Nagpur, following a string of consistent performances in first-class cricket.
"I knew that my good performances in the Ranji Trophy would not go in vain," said the 26-year-old who has taken 21 wickets this Ranji season.
After his father's death in 1999, Awana and his family, based in Harola village, struggled to make ends meet. In 2004, he won a "speedster contest" but could not gain entry into the Delhi side.
"Our mother got a job in the horticulture department of Noida authority, but her salary wasn't enough. Because Parvinder is a bowler, he was always in need of new shoes... he had to wear a worn out pair for over a year. It was only after he started playing for Delhi and for Kings XI Punjab in the IPL that he could afford proper equipment," said Awana's elder brother, Ratinder.
It was one of Awana's uncles who pushed him to join an academy.
"One day, I got to know that Virender Sehwag was visiting my academy. I called Awana to bowl to him. Sehwag was impressed with his speed and control. The next day, at the DDCA selection meeting, Sehwag mentioned Awana as a future prospect," recalled Kesar Choudhary, Awana's coach at the academy.