A few years ago, he was a hardcore RCB fan, and now he’s living the dream as he’s part of the team he has adored for years. Meet Karnataka’s very own Pavan Deshpande, who gets candid with Bengaluru Chronicle about his debut IPL and more. “It’s the first time I’ve been picked by any franchise and of course, it’s a great feeling. I feel like my hard work has paid off. During our training, Daniel Vettori and Ashish Nehra were very supportive and it’s been really great interacting with such legends. As for captain Kohli, it’s a dream come true to be around a legend in the making. The way he gets ready and prepares for a game is great and he’s always pumped up for any training,” says the all-rounder who was writing a bank promotion exam when the IPL auctions were going on.
“I didn’t know I was picked. After the exam, I saw 47 missed calls! I called my mom and she gave me the news. I feel like I’ve made my parents proud — they’ve worked hard for me,” says the lanky lad who works at SBI.
This Dharwad huduga’s cricketing journey began in his hometown when he was a zealous 12-year-old. “I started playing cricket at the Vasanth Murdeshwar academy there. The very next year, I represented Karnataka in the U-13. At 16, when I shifted to Bengaluru, I learnt so many things. I played a lot of matches and got a considerable amount of exposure and had access to good facilities.” However, he reveals that the last two years have completely changed his life. “Until 25, I wasnt even in the Ranji probables. My mother motivated me and said ‘don’t give up’ and I decided to change my mindset. Now, I always focus on staying in the present moment, and on delivering rather than looking at a century. Enjoying the moment has helped me. I never thought I’d reach this place,” he expresses.
Taking us back to his childhood, Pavan reveals that he was someone who would watch every single cricket match on TV. “The 2011 World Cup result changed me. It was Yuvraj Singh who motivated me because he was fighting cancer and still went on to win the WC,” he says.
With RCBs fans showing their ardent support in huge numbers even this year, Pavan smiles, “I used to be a big fan of RCB and have seen 90 percent of the matches at the stadium. This time, the fans are expecting a lot and we’re working hard to meet expectations. Hopefully, we can win the trophy this time.”
Now that he lives in nammooru away from his folks, the cricketer does feel homesick. “That’s when I speak to my mom. Whenever there are some important matches, she visits Bangalore,” he says.
When he is not busy engaged in cricket, Pavan prefers to visit his hometown. “When I go there, I meet my friends and family and that refreshes me.”
As for the contribution he’s hoping to make to RCB if he’s chosen in the playing XI, he states, “I’m working really hard and whatever the team demands, I’m willing to do, and bat at any position. I’m looking forward to the challenge.”