Pradyot Singh Rathore: The Man Behind Rise of Cricket in Western Rajasthan

·4-min read

Jodhpur. Pradyot was 7-8 years old when he first held a bat, and had a dream to look forward to. With time, his passion for cricket increased exponentially. He got professionally trained in an academy at Jodhpur.

In his school life, Pradyot met Shahrukh who later became his best friend and still is. Both of them had the same enthusiasm towards sports and were the best athletes in school. Pradyot got selected in the Under-17 cricket team for the school after giving the trials.

In September 2003, Pradyot played his first club match and smashed 70 runs. That gave him recognition in the school and district. He was selected for the district level team of Jodhpur.

Ravi Kant Meena, who is now a district judge in Rajasthan, suggested Pradyot join a club because the coaches and staff there can provide a good mentorship. At the Jodhpur Blues Club, he met his coach and mentor Mr. Narendra Sharma and Mr. Nitin Sharma. They constantly supported him through his journey. His consistent performance in the league matches gave him name and fame in Club Cricket.

He believed that his mental strength subordinated his performance a lot of times in selection matches. For almost three years, he used to practice for 7-8 hours.

In 2006, he played an Under-19 tournament where he made 2 century and 3 fifties. This performance helped him in making place in the REST of the Rajasthan Team. The best players are selected for the Rajasthan State level team. Pradyot could not secure place in the state-level team instead of performing quite good in the tournament.

In same year he had his 12th exams. He secured good grades in the exams and then he decided to move to Mumbai for his further education. But once he got there, he found himself stuck in the monotonous routine.

At that time, Greg Chapel was appointed as the head coach of the Rajasthan Cricket. He had launched a talent hunt program for Rajasthan. Pradyot gave his best in trials and he got selected in the top 15 for that camp. He had to return to Mumbai for his college but he got himself transferred to Jodhpur University. That 1-year training camp, helped him sharpen his skills.

In 2010, Rajasthan Royals launched an open trial in Udaipur for selecting players for the IPL team, Pradyot gave the trial and he performed exceptionally well in the nets and got shortlisted for the top 25 players. Then a match was being played among 25 players, in which he scored 53 runs not-out, hitting 9 boundaries. This led to his selection in Rajasthan Royals camp. Rajeev Khanna, the vice-president of the Rajasthan Royals team helped him a lot throughout the trial. Sadly, even after he was selected he was never called up for the camp.

That year, Senior State Championship was going on in Rajasthan, Pradyot secured a position in Rajasthan’s Under-23 team. Though, he was giving his everything to cricket but the end results were not as per his expectations. So, he decided to focus on his studies and get a stable job.

After few months of preparation, Pradyot gave an IB exam and performed really well in each stage of it but still he could not make to the final list. So, he started to prepare for the post of assistant manager in bank and eventually qualified the exam and moved to Bangalore for training. Despite having a secure job and life in big city, he knew something was missing. Then he decided to get himself transferred back to Jodhpur , at that time , Jodhpur was hosting Colvin Shield tournament in which Pradyot scored 3 centuries back-to-back. Still, he didn’t get a positive response from the selectors.

Finally In 2016, Pradyot and Shahrukh laid the first blocks of Spartan. They didn’t have enough money to get labour working for them. So, they did everything on their own. The academy that started with 6 students is currently mentoring more than 300 students and has given some awesome cricketers like BhanuPania, Ravi Bhishnoi, Shubhamgarhwal, SahilBhaskar, Shoiab Khan, DeepaliYadav, and SurenderBishnoi to Indian Cricket. They supported the international tours like South Africa and Dubai on their expense. Many international players have visited the Spartan Cricket Academy over time including reputed names such as DilipVengsarker, Aakash Chopra, ParvindarAwana, and SadananVishwanath.

Spartan was built with a mission to support the young learners and let them not be surmounted up with the feeling of self-doubt and rejection one gets even performing exceptionally and Pradyot is working each day to achieve it. Today he is helping hundreds of kids in fulfilling their dreams. Defying all the odds and the social pressure, Pradyot linked Jodhpur to Rajasthan Cricket and he always thank his father Mr. Girdharisingh who played an immense role in his journey.