Kona Kona Cricket Articles

11th November 2020

Son of a daily wage labourer, T Natarajan has lit up the league with his yorkers

Cricket, or any sport for that matter, is always replete with awe-inspiring stories. One such story is of Thangarasu Natarajan. The 29-year-old fast bowler, who is played for the Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2020, hails from Chinnappampatti, a small town located around 350 kms from Chennai. With little to no cricket culture and facilities in the village, Natarajan honed his skills by playing with the tennis ball.

Not only did Natarajan defy infrastructural odds, he also defied financial woes. His mother used to be a daily-wage labourer, while his father worked at a saree manufacturing company. Despite lack of financial backing, Natarajan, on the back of sheer hard work, found himself playing the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) in 2017, which was his first major breakthrough. That same season, Natarajan grabbed nine wickets in six matches for the Dindigul Dragons at an impressive economy rate of 5.4. His consistent performances in the TNPL saw him being picked by the Kings XI Punjab for Indian T20 League that same year. The Mohali based franchise signed a whopping Rs. 3 crore contract with the pacer, with which he bought his parents a new home.

However, his stint with KXIP was short lived. Natarajan played six matches, from which he took only two wickets and had an economy rate of over 9.

Just when it seemed that his League career would remain only one-season long, he made a remarkable comeback in TNPL in 2018, claiming 12 wickets in eight matches at an economy rate of 5.2. That year, Sunrisers Hyderabad bowling coach Muttiah Muralitharan scouted Natarajan, and he was picked by the Orange Army. However, he was not given an opportunity in the playing XI in both 2018 and 2019. But once again Natarajan worked hard and made a comeback, this time by impressing in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, where he claimed 13 wickets in 11 matches for Tamil Nadu, at an economy rate of 5.84. Consistent performances for Tamil Nadu meant that the Sunrisers gave Natarajan a chance in the XI this year, a decision which has paid rich dividends. He picked up 16 wickets this season, with his first victim being none other than Virat Kohli. Natarajan has made a name for himself with his pinpoint yorkers this season, and it is only safe to assume that the boy from Chinnappampatti is made for greater things.

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Disclaimer: This editorial content has been sourced from HoldingWilley