"Would Have Crumbled Under Pressure...": Cheteshwar Pujara's Father Cites Family Tragedy And How It Impacted Star
Cheteshwar Pujara's father revealed how the India batter went through traumatic incidents at an early age but didn't let them crumble him.
One of the finest Test batters of his generation, Cheteshwar Pujara achieved a milestone in his career that not many could even afford to dream about. The ongoing 2nd Test between India and Australia is Pujara's 100th for the national team. Pujara, the man known for his strong-willed approach in the middle of the 22-yard pitch, isn't much different in life afteraall. In an emotional story narrated by his father, the senior Pujara revealed how the India batter went through traumatic incidents at an early age but didn't let them crumble him.
"Beyond the cricket field, he has faced some really tough situations. Had he not been strong, he would have crumbled under pressure, given up the game and drifted in life," Pujara's father Arvind said in a interview with Indian Express.
Pujara was due to return home after Saurashtra's match ended early. On his way to see her mom, the right-handed batter didn't know that the last time he spoke to his mom was the absolute last.
"I still remember the day Reena left us. This was after her chemotherapy was over and she seemed on the mend. Chintu was in Bhavnagar, playing an under-19 game. We were shifting houses, so my wife said she would go to our relative's home so she could rest.
"Since the Saurashtra team lost early, Chintu called his mother around 2 pm to tell her that he would be returning that evening. Within a couple of hours, Reena got what is called a 'lightning heart attack'. It happened so quickly that she couldn't get up from the diwan and move to the bed. When Chintu reached home, we were a family of two - his mother, my wife and the centre of our lives had left this world," revealed Arvind.
Even Pujara's father had a heart attack a few years later, but for God's grace, he made a full recovery.
"Years later, Chintu would be reminded of that traumatic day again. While he was undergoing rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore, I got a heart attack. That day, I was in bed when my heart started beating vigorously. So much so that I could hear it beat like a drum. I called my family doctor Nirbhay Shah, and asked: "What does one feel when he is having a heart attack?". He knew me well and asked where I was. Dr Shah rushed home and shifted me to a hospital," Arvind revealed.
"He called Chintu and told him that I was admitted to a hospital. It is easy to guess his thoughts when he was on the plane. He wasn't sure if the doctor was telling him the truth. He wasn't sure if I was still alive. But he kept calm and reached Rajkot. God was kind to us, this time there was no bad news waiting for him. He was pleased to see me," he added.