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Keshav Maharaj’s family arrives in India to witness the first two Tests


Bipin Dani

Family of South African bowler Keshav Maharaj has arrived in India to witness the first two Test matches in Vishakhapatnam and Pune. 

Keshav Maharaj with his father
Keshav Maharaj with his father

“Kesh (as they call him) is basically a grounded family person and I know that having us around will be that extra motivation and support that he needs”, the father, Athmanand Maharaj said over telephone.

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“It’s good to have family cheering and and acknowledging his presence in the team. Further it identifies us as his faithful fans in terms of support and motivation. What a place to do so than in the Motherland Bharath.  

In fact, the three members-dad, mom Kanchan and fiancee Lerisha had a city tour on eve of the Test match.

Describing his son journey, the father says, “it started from a very early age. I was playing provincial cricket during the time when no normal sport was played in an abnormal society. We belonged to the South African Council of Sport (SACOS), which was the governing body of non-racial sport. During my playing days my son used to accompany me to matches. During non-playing time I used to work with him in very limited facilities”.

Keshav Maharaj with his family
Keshav Maharaj with his family

“His first experiences in cricket obviously started at home in my back yard. We spent hours together. When unification took place, it was easier to find better facilities to enhance the sessions. He was very enthusiastic and he would wait for me to get back from work and take him to the nets. He would bowl left arm seam in training as he practiced and being a former glove man, I kept to him. In my playing days later in my career the cricket fraternity and my fellow cricketing friends used to talk about the scarcity of left arm spinners. The idea crossed my mind and during a coaching session sometime later I gave him a bucket of balls to have a go at left arm spin. Yes, he was erratic but the convincing aspect of all of that was his ability to turn the ball on a synthetic pitch. So, we continued with sessions thereafter while he continued with seam. After a few good practices with spin as glove man I sat him down and I said would you like to make a switch because you have the ability to turn the ball. So began his journey and the rest his history. It took many hours of hard labor between us but he withstood the intensity and regularity of the training and coaching sessions”.

“Obviously we didn’t leave out the batting sessions. Kesh began to impress at an early age at school and club level so much that he was selected to play Provincial schools’ cricket 2 years ahead of his age grouping. In so doing the provincial set up put him on the radar for future progress. The interactive sessions didn’t stop with him and I to the extent that I short lived my playing career and devoted my time to him. In that time, he was an ingrained feature in academy. That’s was how our journey and his career progressed. Mention has been to made with respect to family sacrifices and support which we still do. I still remain his critic. All in all, he has been an awesome kid with a strong work ethic and focus. While his journey has begun, we haven’t focused on a destination”.

Cook also

Describing the other quality of Keshav, the father adds, “he is an awesome cook. Has a food blog. He has smart culinary skills”.

“He is very devoted to our pet dog Rio a German Shepherd who he spills with A KFC treat now and then. supports charity groups and indigent children. Has a strong religious focus. Very caring with his daily mantra Family First and appreciative of his family”, the senior Maharaj concluded.

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