From Darkness to Dynamite: Punjab's Explosive Batter Rises Above Depression

By Real11 - Apr 19 2024 114 Views

Meet Ashutosh Sharma-  The boy who is making noise for all the right reasons

Punjab batter Ashutosh Sharma smashed a stunning 28-ball-61 but it ended up in the losing effort during the Ind T20 League 2024 clash against a jittery Mumbai side on Thursday. It was a heroic but valiant effort from the youngster who has shown promise this season and his brave knock almost took his side over the line after losing a flurry of wickets in quick succession. His breezy knock was studded with 2 fours and 7 sixes at a healthy strike rate of 217.86 which took his tally to 156 runs in 4 innings. This was not the first instance when the 25-year old played an explosive knock. He stitched together a match changing partnership with Shashank Singh to complete an impressive victory over Gujarat in the ongoing edition of the competition.

This was a massive moment for a cricketer who survived a tricky phase in his life from 2020 to 2022 where he was not sure as to what he was doing. Self doubt and fear of failure had him questioning his own career decision.  "There was a time when I wasn't even allowed to get a feel of the cricket ground," Ashutosh disclosed during that period of time. 

Sharma had an alleged row with then Madhya Pradesh’s head coach Chandrakant Pandit. 

"I would go to the gym and retire to my hotel room. I was sinking into depression and no one told me what my fault was. A new coach had joined Madhya Pradesh and he had strong likes and dislikes and despite scoring 90 odd in 45 balls in a trial match, I was dropped from the team," Ashutosh said.

"I had three fifties in six Mushtaq Ali games in the previous season yet I wouldn't even be allowed to go to the ground. I was very depressed," Sharma told reporters.

During that time he received a job offer from Railways that proved to be the turning point and during the 2023 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, the swashbuckler shattered Yuvraj Singh’s record of scoring the fastest T20 half century when he notched 50 in just 11 balls against Arunachal Pradesh.  

That whirlwind knock grabbed the attention of Punjab batting coach Sanjay Bangar and he was signed by Punjab in the auction ahead of the ongoing season for the base of INR 20 lakh.  

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