Kochi: 'My dad’s biggest wish is to watch me, clad in Indian colors, lining up with the rest of the team for the national anthem. Being such an ardent fan of Dhoni bhai, sharing the dressing room with him at least once has always been a dream for me. I never got the opportunity to talk to him. Now, this unexpected call-up to the national side meant that I’m on the verge of realizing all these dreams. I’m grateful to God and all who supported my journey from the start,' Basil Thampi, reacting to his selection to the Indian T20 squad against Sri Lanka, told Manorama over phone from Kerala Ranji team’s camp in Surat.
“The 'Emerging Player’ award in the last edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) gave me the confidence that I would get my share of chances. But this call-up came as a pleasant surprise. I was attending a swimming session as part of the team’s fitness program when I received the news from Kerala Cricket Association secretary Jayesh George. It triggered wild celebrations in the camp,” said a visibly excited Basil.
“I was a member of the Kerala U-19 squad when I half-heartedly decided to give up cricket in order to supplement my family income with a job in the Gulf. It was Deepak chettan (former Kerala wicketkeeper C M Deepak), who was my senior at Swantons Cricket Club in Ernakulam, who convinced me to stay back and focus on my game. I took the game seriously only after joining Swantons.
"At present, the only thing in mind is to put up a good performance in Kerala’s Ranji trophy quarterfinal tie against Vidarbha. We qualified for the quarters for the first time in history by winning five out of our six group matches. We will try our best to win this match as well,” Basil concluded.