Instead of fighting on Border, suddenly he found himself fighting AB De Villiers – A story of Ankit Soni
A player who was always under age for any cricket tournament, thought he could have pursued Indian Army officer as his career instead. Little did he know destiny was preparing him to a steep ladder of success! Ankit Soni directly reached Gujarat Lions IPL team even before playing any big matches and made an immediate mark as a bowler there. Patience and Perseverance are the highlights of this young Indian team player.
|Birthday||2nd Aug, 1993|
|Place from||Suratgarh, Rajasthan|
|Quote for Life||“If You Dream You Can Do It”|
Team imd1 was bowled over by his journey. Read on!
We are really keen to know, how did your journey begin?
The Journey began with participation in School cricket at the age of 13 but I started playing competitive cricket at the age of 18 when I got selected for my District Ganganagar in the Under -19 District Level tournament. The turning point came when I had the pleasure of meeting the great Indian Leg Spinner Narendra Hirwani during a Ranji Trophy match at Jaipur where he had come as a selector. He helped me in changing my action, which was totally different earlier and it really helped me in developing my bowling skills.
I had also participated in the Talent Hunt Programme jointly run by Rajasthan Royals and Dainik Bhaskar in the year 2012 where I stood 2nd and I was able to win over the sight of Monty Desai – the talent Scout of Rajasthan Royals. I was regularly called for Net Bowling at the Rajasthan Royals camps held at Jaipur and it gave me a lot of confidence as I would bowl to the best players of the world who played for RR.Being unable to get through the age criteria of Rajasthan Cricket Association, I shifted my base to Mumbai and started getting trained at Venus Sports Academy under the watchful eyes of Monty Desai and Sports Life Coaches Santosh Singh and Dinesh Rao. I completed the cooling off period to be registered with Mumbai Cricket Association and made my debut with Yogi CC in ‘D’ Division of Kanga League.
I was also selected in the IDBI Bowling Camp conducted by Mumbai Cricket Association and was able to closely work with Ramesh Pawar at the camp. Further, I got the opportunity to play in the ‘B’ Division for Maskati CC in Kanga League and Repro India in ‘B’ Division in Times shield. I started training intensively with Santosh Sir and Dinesh Rao Sir specifically with an aim to get picked up at the auctions for IPL and I was also exposed to good quality players including Dinesh Kartik in the open net scenarios. I got the opportunity when Shivil Kaushik got injured and I was asked to Join Gujarat Lions Camp wherein I was able to impress all my coaches. Finally, I landed up Playing 7 matches in IPL 2017!!
What’s your success mantra?
Hard work, Dedication and Self Belief
What were the hardships / hurdles your encountered and the way you overcame in your journey?
I couldn’t meet the age criteria for Rajasthan and it always hurt me. I always thought that it was a great drawback and was constantly doubting my decision of perceiving cricket as a career, as age was catching on me and there was family pressure, It was sheer self belief and hard work and support of my coaches and mentors that I was able to play in the IPL
Success is incomplete without its share of failures. How should one overcome them to move on?
I believe that success and failures always keep coming. Failures just help you in learning and motivating yourself. It is required that you start taking your failures positively.
|Favorite Personalities||Narendra Modi, Amitabh Bachchan, Naseeruddin Shah|
|Inspirations||Brad Hogg the Australian Left arm Chinaman Bowler|
|Food I love||Dal Baati (Rajasthani Dish)|
|Food I hate||Chinese|
|Had I not been Cricketer then…||Would have Joined the Indian Army or Indian Civil Services|
|Like Vacations at||Home Town, as I am always out for cricket, so coming back to Hometown is always fun.|
|Favorite Past time||School Days|
|Favorite Dialogue||The more you Sweat in Peace the less you Bleed in War|
|Favorite Movies/Series||Border, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara|
|Favorite Actor/Actress||Farhan Akhtar, Amitabh Bachchan, Aamir Khan, Kangana Ranaut|
Do you think Cricket and its learning’s can be helpful in life even if one does not want to consider it as a career goal?
Yes. Cricket helps in learning Discipline, Positive Outlook and Team Work which are essential skills in any profession or career.
Who has been your influencer in this journey & how?
As such, there is no person who has influenced me. It was just that I loved the game and I started playing Cricket.
Which was “that” moment when you considered yourself as “I am the 1”?
When I bowled for Gujarat Lions in IPL 2017 against Pune Supergiants, I was able to contend the most successful Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and the Best England All rounder Ben Stokes. That was when I felt, Yes, I am the 1!
Did you get any formal training and how was that journey?
I was able to get formal training only when I landed at Mumbai wherein I learned a lot of aspects of Bowling. The entire training was quite motivating and it has been a new learning process everyday till date.
Could you reflect on the importance of systematic training in Cricket?
Systematic Training in modern day cricket is a must as I strongly feel that cricket is not just about going and playing on the ground. It requires a lot of preparation – Mentally, Physically, Analytically for the overall development of an individual.
What are the pre-coaching essentials e.g. Right age, mindset or any other?
I think right age is very important. Each skill takes time to build up and coaching needs to be step by step, starting from a basic age.
Technology and scientific training has been changing the way people get trained in Cricket. What’s your take?
Cricket has been evolving everyday and I think technology and scientific training is very important.
How can one select an ideal ‘Guru’ for getting formal training for Cricket?
At a young age, it is majorly decided by the parents which academy the child has to join for coaching. It is only with the learning, age, maturity, understanding and adaptations that you are able to decide the right Guru for yourself.
What according to you can be a scope for improvement in training for Cricket in India?
Cricket being a national passion, there is lot of scope for improvement in the Cricket Coaching Structure for all basic age groups. This applies to any state and city association all over India. It is important to structure the fundamentals rather than merely teaching to play matches.
Your piece of advice to parents and new generation especially when some people are skeptical about career in extra curriculum.
I believe that parents are the best coaches for the child. Parents should always encourage the child to participate in extracurricular activities as it helps in the all round development of the child. They should provide the child with the best platforms and have faith in the child as well as the platform.