Thiruvananthapuram: Teenage sensation Sanju V. Samson appears to have saved the day for Kerala after he bagged the best young cricketer award at the sixth edition of the IPL. The better known cricketer from the state, Sreesanth, meanwhile, cools his heels in jail.
Eighteen-year-old Samson played 11 matches, got 10 innings and scored 206 runs with 63 not out as his highest score. He finished with a strike rate of 130.20, at an average of 25.75.
Meanwhile, Sreesanth is under arrest for his alleged role in spot fixing, along with two other fellow players.
Incidentally, both these cricketers were till recently the pride of Kerala. Sreesanth's criminal act has made many ardent sports fans in the state cringe, and it was left to the young Samson to restore the glory of the game for many in state, as he walked away with the award for the best young cricketer Sunday, after the final match.
Both the cricketers played for Rajasthan Royals, which lost out in the semi-finals to the eventual winner, Mumbai Indians.
Speaking to IANS, Samson Viswanath, father of the teenage cricketer, said he was mighty pleased with his son. "He is arriving in the afternoon, my wife and I and our elder son will be there to receive him," he said.
The young cricketer's Class XII examination results were declared while he was away, and his results call for celebrations too.
"He will now study literature, and we expect he will get admission at the Mar Ivanios College here," the proud father said.
The Samsons live in a rented home near the airport in the state capital, close to the beach. The young cricketer's performance has brought public attention to the family, and there are now posters of the boy in a coastal village near the airport.
"We hope he will learn from the mistakes Sreesanth made, as fame came early and the glory went to his head," remarked a young student sipping coffee at a wayside shop near the University Stadium in the heart of the capital city on Monday morning. Others with him concurred.