I called my girlfriend and cried on the phone like a child: Ishant
India pacer Ishant Sharma was once devastated by the poor performance in a match, with getting destroyed in one over, the winning match being handed over to the opponent.
Although he’s known to have a strong mentality, he cried a lot then, even after calling his girlfriend. He couldn’t eat or sleep at that time. Now looking back, the Indian fast bowler said that the incident was changed him a lot.
Ishant was talking about the ODI match against Australia in Mohali in 2013. Chasing 304 runs, Australia needed 44 runs in the last 3 overs. Then, Indian captain MS Dhoni brought back Ishant to bowl, who had taken 1 wicket for 33 runs in 7 overs. The picture of the match changed in that over.
Australia all-rounder James Faulkner hit four off the first ball of Ishant’s over and six off the next two balls. Two runs came in the fourth ball. The last two balls went for two sixes again. 30 in one over! With 3 balls left, Australia won by 4 wickets in that match.
“The turning point of my life came in 2013. Faulkner hit me for 30 runs in one over in an ODI in Mohali that Australia went on to win,” Ishant was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo in their show cricketbaazi.
“At that time I felt I had betrayed myself and my country,” added Ishant.
“For two-three weeks, I didn’t speak to anyone. I cried a lot. I am a very tough guy. My mother says she hasn’t seen a tougher person than me. [But] I called my girlfriend and cried on the phone like a child. Those three weeks were like a nightmare. I stopped eating. I couldn’t sleep or do anything else. You switch on the television and people are criticising you, which messes you up even more.”
That time of crying is now the reason for Ishant’s laughter. “I laugh about it now and I consider it a blessing in disguise. Sometimes you need a jolt to understand your passion. After the Faulkner incident, I went through major changes in my life. After 2013, I started taking things seriously.
“Before that, if I had a bad performance, people would come and tell me ‘It’s okay, it happens.’ But after 2013, if someone came to me and said that, I wouldn’t listen. If I have made a mistake, I have made a mistake. I started taking responsibility for my actions. When you do that, you play every match to win it for the team,” he said.