Saturday, July 16, 2011

Looking Forward to Scoring as Many Centuries as Possible – Abhishek Hegde

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Abhishek with D V Subba Rao Trophy and
Man of the Match Award
An interview with Abhishek Hegde, opening batsman of Kerala cricket team. In the last one year Abhishek has become an integral part of the Kerala cricket team. 
Abhishek, Welcome to the interview.Let me start the interview with your name – Abhishek M Hegde does not sound a Malayali name. I know you were born in Hyderabad. How did you end up playing for Kerala?
My father got a new job and we moved to Kochi 13 years back since then I have been living in Kerala and playing for Kerala. 
When did you decide that you are going to choose cricket as a career? 
When I made my Ranji debut at the age of 17. 
In cricket who is your role model?
Not one but many like Sachin, Dravid, Pointing, Hayden, Dhoni…… 
Kerala team that won D V Subba Rao Trophy
You were part of the Kerala team that won the D V Subba Rao Trophy recently. This may be the first time Kerala team is winning a national cricket tournament. How do you rate this victory?
Very high as we won convincingly and lots of youngsters performed really well… 
Will this victory in D V Subba Rao Trophy act as a catalyst for the rise of Kerala as a force in domestic first class cricket in India?
Sure it will… 
Now coming to Kerala cricket – after the Ranji Trophy format was changed to Elite and Plate group Kerala qualified for the the Elite group just once. What according to you ails Kerala cricket?
Lack of good practice facilities, good turf wickets and good grounds. 
There is a huge gap between first class cricket and international cricket. IPL has reduced the gap a lot but that gap still exists. How do you see this gap?
There is a small gap which will go in a few years time as the domestic Indian players play along the foreign players. 
Sreesanth and Abhishek
You have shared dressing room with Indian fast bowler Sreesanth. Any memorable experience playing with him?
Sree got his  hatrick on my Ranji debut. 
Kerala team captain Raiphi Gomez and Prashanth Parameshwaran made a mark in the last edition of IPL. Do you see yourself playing in the next IPL team for any of the teams?
Ya sure…Will keep working hard and leave the rest to God. 
You are yet to score a century in Ranji trophy but scored a century (121) in the Vijay Hazare Trophy early this year. How important that century for you and can we hope to see more of that in the future?
That century was very important for me as I was making my come back and it brought back all the confidence that I had lost for some time. I am definitely looking forward scoring as many centuries as possible. 
When you heard the news for the first time that Kerala is going to have an IPL team what was your initial reaction?
I was really excited and was hoping to get a place in the squad. 
Abhishek with fellow Kerala openor Jagadeesh VA
Tinu Yohannan and now Sreesanth, two Kerala players to play for India. Whom do you think will be the next three if you have to make a guess.
Right now only Sanju V Samson comes to my mind as he keeps scoring tons of runs every year. 
Now the next first class season is going to start. Ranji Trophy will start by October. Now have you set any personal goals for this upcoming season?
Just want to be a consistent performer. 
What do you think is the prospect of Kerala coming season? Last season, Rajasthan went all the way from Plate group to win Ranji Trophy. Do you think Kerala can pull a Rajasthan this season?
Yes hopefully with the grace of God we will be able to put in all the effort and dedication to reach the elite group. 
Rajasthan’s victory last session was mainly due to the performance of professional players like Akash Chopra and Hrishikesh Kanitkar. Do you think Kerala also needs to use the service of few professional players from outside state that can strengthen the team?
No I don’t think so as we have quality players.its just the matter of everyone clicking together. 
One more thing I have noticed – Kerala has performed better while playing outside the state than in home grounds. Why is it so?
Cant give  a specific reason,probably there is less pressure outside. 
Now next season, four out of your five matches are in Kerala. Will it be advantageous or disadvantageous for the team?
Like everyone coin has two sides to it, it can be an advantage as well as a disadvantage, hope it turns out to be an advantage. 
What is your dream as a cricketer?
My dream like every other cricketer is to represent the country and do well for the country. 
Advice to young kids who want to take up cricket as a career
Advice is to keep it simple, keep working hard, go through the process of reaching the goal rather than just thinking of the goal and enjoy what ever you are doing.
Thanks Abhishek for you time. Hope you have a successful career in cricket and wishing you all the best.

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