Vadodara: 30-year-old Imran Sheikh, whose crucial half centuries had helped India win the deaf and mute cricket World Cup 10 years ago, is currently sells kachoris to make a living.
Though cricket is Imran’s passion but he is no longer interested in playing as opportunities are not forthcoming and playing matches doesn’t help him financially.
“Cricket is my passion and I want to keep playing. But my financial condition is not good enough to support my family. Playing deaf and mute cricket matches doesn’t earn me much money. So I started a nutritious kachori stall with the help of my wife Roza for earning extra income. I also got a temporary job in Gujarat Refinery, thanks to my coach Nitendra Singh,” Imran told The Times of India in sign language.
Six-foot tall Imran started playing cricket at the age of 15. “I used to watch matches on television and later began playing at Bhutadizampa ground. But my coach Nitendra Singh mentored me for higher level of cricket. I got into Gujarat team and then in Indian team,” Imran recalled.
3 years ago, Imran became the deaf and mute Indian cricket team’s captain; this year led his team in Asia Cup T20 tournament.
Imran’s performance was impressive.
He scored 70 against Nepal, 60 against New Zealand and then a match winning 62 against Pakistan in the 2005 in the semifinals helped India win the match. Then in the finals against England, Imran scored 40 and took three wickets to help India to the title.
Roza also credited the Vadodara people for encourage him by flocking to his kachori stall.
“We recently moved out of our family house. Barodians have been very supportive and queuing up to eat at our stall.
We would be glad if the local government helps us get a permanent place for our eatery,” she said.