20th November-2018 was the day when a young left arm medium pacer from Bhavnagar made his Ranji trophy debut for Saurashtra. Many people didn’t know about this young chap Chetan Sakariya at that point of time. The Saurashtra Cricket Association, like BCCI believes in the policy of “Catch them young”. There was no doubt about the potential possessed by this young pacer in the minds of selectors of SCA or the team management. Everyone knew that Chetan is a special player but nobody could ever imagine that within two and half years he would be travelling to Sri Lanka with the Indian cricket team.
In just 2 first class seasons of BCCI domestic cricket Chetan has taken 41 wickets in only 15 Ranji trophy games. Alongside Captain Jaydev Unadkat, Chetan Sakariya learnt the ‘tricks of the trade’ and took giant strides as a key player for team. He was the part of this victorious Saurashtra Ranji team when they created history by winning the maiden Ranji trophy title in 2020. The first edition of Saurashtra premier League (SPL) was a special event for Chetan Sakariya. In presence of jam-packed SCA stadium with more than 25,000 people on the ground and millions watching on television, Chetan bowled that famous last over in the final of SPL, took hatrick and played an instrumental role in winning the championship for Sorath Lions. His flight had taken off then and there…
Various franchises were looking for young pacer and Rajasthan Royals took Chetan in their wings. IPL is one of the biggest platforms for young talent but it also tests your character to the core. As a novice Chetan showed extra ordinary composure, temperament and skill execution in crunch situations of the closely fought IPL games. He made his presence felt with some fantastic winning performances for his franchise. A very successful IPL always ensure great rewards for all cricketers. He was immediately noticed at the top level.
Adversities in personal life have made Chetan more determined than one can imagine. Losing close family members can shake up anybody, but Chetan has come out stronger like a warrior and has done wonders on the cricket field. Playing for India is an ultimate dream for any Indian cricketers and Chetan is going to live the dream of every Cricket Lovers of Saurashtra out there.
Best wishes Chetan, we are proud of you and we know that you will flourish.
-Prakash J Bhatt (Former Saurashtra Ranji Trophy player)