ICC World Cup: Axar cried as we spoke after his selection, admits father
Axar Patel gave his family the biggest joy of their lifetime by making it to India's 15-member World Cup squad picked by the BCCI selection committee in the city yesterday.
Axar Patel's father Rajesh
The left-arm spinner, who is currently in Australia with the Indian team for the Test series, turns 21 on January 20 and will be the youngest member of Team India.
Axar's father Rajesh described the scene at their residence in Nadiad (Gujarat) last evening as "chaotic". Thankfully, with Axar's selection for the mega tournament almost imminent sure, Patel senior had made arrangements for guests and well-wishers.
"I bought two kilos of sweets and around eight litres of cold drinks. But it fell short as a lot of people visited our home. There were around 50 people from the media itself. Then my family, friends, society and community people came to congratulate us. At one point, I had to switch off my mobile phone for a couple of hours in the afternoon," Rajesh Patel told mid-day.
On the eve of the selection meeting, the father and son had decided that whoever got the news first could convey it to the other. Yesterday the family was glued to their TV set, but moments before the official announcement, their electricity went off for a few minutes.
It was Axar, who first got the news and immediately connected with his family on Skype, a video calling software. "I congratulated him and also panned the mobile phone camera to show him the number of people at our house. He got really emotional. He cried a bit as well.
He was missing his grandmother (Kamlaben, who passed away in 2012 while Axar was playing an U-19 state match in Gandhinagar). She was his inspiration and it was her wish to see him play for the country one day," said Rajesh.
The number of guests at Patel's place made it difficult for Axar's father to speak to his son at length. Numerous well-wishers just kept pouring in throughout. "I wanted to talk to him for long today, but was unable to do so.
He will call tomorrow and hopefully we can then talk at ease then," said a Patel Sr said with a hint of regret, but a lot of pride too as he continued: "The biggest honour for any parent is to be known for his son's accomplishments and I feel really proud when people refer to me as Axar's father."
Patel Senior is planning to go to Australia and New Zealand to watch the World Cup and hopefully see his son in action too.
Number of ODIs played by Axar Patel. He scored 40 runs and took 14 wickets
The number of wickets taken by Axar Patel in his last five ODIs