Gujarat batsman Niraj Patel has mixed feelings as he approaches his milestone match today.
Patel, 34, will play his 100th Ranji Trophy match in Vizianagaram as Gujarat kick off their campaign against Andhra. "It is a special match for me. I never thought I would play for so long. Such milestones are very special and I am fortunate to serve my state team for so long.
'Dad is my motivator'
"I wished my father (Kanubhai) was present at the ground to see my 100th match. He is in the USA with my family for a short vacation. He has been a pillar of strength in my career. He has been my motivator... my everything. Whatever I am is because of my father and my family.
I wished they were here," said Patel, who was picked by Rajasthan Royals in the 2008 and 2009 Indian Premier League. He also was part of the Patel, who has scored 5840 runs in 165 first-class innings, said he will play according to the situation. "There is no better feeling like contributing to the team's win. I will play according to the demands of the situation," he said.
It can be recalled that Patel played a good hand in India winning the under-19 World Cup in 1999. He scored an unbeaten 34 in the final against Sri Lanka while putting on 64 runs with man of the match Ritender Sodhi (39 not out) for India to cruise to a six-wicket win.