Bangalore: Kochi Tuskers Kerala's wicketkeeper-batsman Parthiv Patel is a happy man. Not because of his team's or his own show on the cricket field, but due to a special reason off it. Parthiv took time off from his Indian Premier League schedule to rush to his hometown Ahmedabad on Friday and hold his new-born baby girl.
On the auspicious day of Akshaya Tritiya, it was a truly memorable day for him and his wife Avani. "I am delighted. It's the biggest news I have ever received. No cricketing achievement even comes remotely close to this. It's a special feeling to be a proud father," Parthiv said. Over the last few months, Parthiv's fortunes on the field have been turning for the better, too.
After being largely ignored for national selection for more than six years, Parthiv again got a chance to play for India last year when MS Dhoni was rested for the ODI series against New Zealand. Parthiv then played in four ODIs, including two in South Africa, and scored two half-centuries besides a battling 38 on a demanding Centurion wicket.
"I got an opportunity after a long time. I was desperate to make a mark," Parthiv said. "With MS (Dhoni) being the best wicketkeeper-batsman in the country, one has to take full advantage of whatever chances one gets. I am happy that I have performed well in recent times."
Parthiv's glove work has improved and he has played some fine cameos for Kochi."It's a great platform for all of us. A good show in the IPL never goes unnoticed," he said. "I have got an opportunity to bat at the top of the order and that's also a big plus for me. I just want to play some big knocks for my team now." From a 17-year-old who made his Test debut in tough English conditions in 2002, Parthiv has come a long way. He has learnt that playing for India is never as easy as it appeared the first time.
Hopefully, fatherhood will bring even better luck for the Gujarat 'keeper.