How a wooden plank made Praveen's career

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> The Uttar Pradesh allrounder, who bowled India to a win in the CB Series, reveals how a wooden plank and one rupee helped him take to cricket.

Updated: March 19, 2008 13:25 IST
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New Delhi:

A broken wooden plank that he got moulded as a bat for a mere one rupee was the first step that Praveen Kumar took towards making a now-successful cricket career despite coming from a family of wrestlers.

The all-rounder, who won two man of the match awards in the four ODIs that he played on the tour of Australia, recalled that one moment that ultimately made him defy his family to pursue what became a passion for him.

"My family was dead against me playing cricket. All of them were wrestlers and wanted to carry on the tradition but I was mad about cricket," Praveen told PTI-Bhasha in an interview.

Such was the family's opposition to Praveen's cricketing ambitions that they refused to get him a bat but he soon found a way out of the problem.

"I was in fifth standard when I found this broken wooden plank on the rooftop of my house. I had one rupee with me... I took along a cousin and got the plank moulded into a bat at a nearby carpenter's shop," he recalled.

The Uttar Pradesh-player, who was sold for a whopping Rs 1.25 crore in the Indian Premier League (IPL) bidding, played his first match for a prize money of a mere two rupees against a team from his own neighbourhood.

"Our team won that match. We played several two-rupee matches after that," Praveen said.

Being a part of the national team is a dream realised for Praveen, who said he never imagined that he could make it so big.

"When I started, I never thought I would reach where I have reached today," he said.

On being asked about his goals, Praveen said he wants to remain a grounded person whatever may be the level of his professional success.

"Cricket is a tough sport. I know there will be lots of ups and downs. But I pray that I remain the way I have always been and never become arrogant," he said.

Praveen said he also wants to be remembered as a fine all-rounder.

"I want to be good all-rounder like Kapil Dev but I know I can never match what he achieved," he said.

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