Having a cricketing godfather has its own advantages and disadvantages. According to Stuart Binny, it has been the latter contrary to popular belief.
Stuart Binny celebrates the wicket of Bangladesh's Sabbir Rahman in Mirpur last month (Pic/AFP). Inset: Roger Binny
Binny's inclusion in the Indian team has always been a matter of debate, thanks to his father — Roger Binny, who is a national selector.
Although Binny Sr has reportedly reclused himself from the meeting whenever his son's name was discussed, the issue has always been a hot topic of discussion.
Eyebrows were raised when he was first selected for the New Zealand tour in 2013 when the selectors chose to pick the Karnataka all-rounder ahead of Yuvraj Singh.
He was also a surprise inclusion for the Test series against England in 2014. His selection for the 2015 World Cup was another instance where his inclusion came under the scanner.
Binny tried to put an end to his selection issue. "As far as selection is concerned, it is very simple: I have been picked if I had the numbers. It hasn't been an easy journey. I have had my ups and downs as well, and I have enjoyed it.
"People say, 'his father being a selector, it must have been easier'. It wasn't easy at all. It put more pressure on me. I have lived under his shadow all my life, something which I have enjoyed and hopefully proved some people wrong," Binny said yesterday on the eve of his departure to Zimbabwe.
The limited opportunities (three Tests and 10 ODIs) have not helped Binny justify his selection. His six wickets for four runs against Bangladesh at Dhaka in 2014 and the 78 in his second innings against England in his debut Test at Nottingham are the only major highlights of his international career so far.
Now that he is expected to play an important role with seniors being rested for the Zimbabwe tour, Binny hopes to make a strong case for himself. "Hopefully, this tour will give me a good opportunity.
It (missing games) hasn't been frustrating, but a bit difficult. I have to be prepared all the time for any opportunity that comes — it may be in a few weeks or six months later. My role is clear — I have to chip in with bat and ball. And I have played that role for Karnataka all these years," said Binny.