Hyderabad: India’s latest Test cricketer G. H. Vihari returned to the place where he started his cricketing career on Saturday, sending kids at the St John’s Sports Coaching Foundation at Secunderabad into raptures at a felicitation function.
The 24-year-old recounted his early cricket days and thanked each one associated with his journey to the top. “I want to thank all my coaches, fellow players, officials as well as the groundsmen who have all contributed to my career. This achievement belongs to you all too,” he said to a thunderous applause.
“I cannot thank my mother enough. She has sacrificed so much for me. My school (St Andrews) too has been so supportive,” Vihari added.
“I am also grateful to the Hyderabad Cricket Association where I grew from junior state sides all the way into the Ranji Trophy team until I moved to the Andhra Cricket Association about three years ago,” he said.
His coaches John Manoj and R. Sridhar (current fielding coach of the Indian team) were all praise for Vihari’s commitment and spoke highly of his discipline, dedication and determination on the field. “I cannot forget his unbeaten 82 and three wickets that won St Andrews the inter-schools championship, a couple of days after his father’s demise. He was only 12 then... such a gritty player,” Sridhar recalled.
“Vihari has had to overcome many odds in his life. His mother has also been an equal champion in helping Vihari pursue his dream,” John said.
Former BCCI interim president and Test cricketer N. Shivlal Yadav exhorted the latest Hyderabad star to keep setting high standards.
Vihari was also honoured with a shawl and a memento as he cut a large cake to celebrate his new found status, evident from the flood of autograph-seeking youngsters who filled the air with wild whoops and cacophonic cheers....