Many young Indians have grown up watching Sachin Tendulkar shining the high cricketing glory. Many of these youngsters dream of garnering similar glory for themselves. Deepak Sharma (35), a resident of Guna, a small city in the northern part of Madhya Pradesh, had a similar dream. But that dream felt especially difficult for Deepak, as polio had affected both his legs.
As a kid, Deepak dreamt of emulating Tendulkar. But an infliction of polio when only 2 years old had made realisation of the that dream nearly impossible for him. But using some good old determination, passion for the game, mental toughness and a positive mindset, Deepak has realised that dream to a great extent. Today he not only is part of the Madhya Pradesh wheelchair cricket team but is also leading a Kolkata unit in a limited-overs cricketing league.
Deepak was also instrumental in forming the State wheelchair cricket team of Madhya Pradesh.
In fact, he did one better than Sachin Tendulkar. He is also an international-level para-fencing athlete. He has represented India in Italy in November 2021, in a para fencing tournament. He is also preparing to represent India in the next para Olympics.
CitySpidey caught up with Deepak as he was in the national capital New Delhi to lead his Kolkata side in a wheelchair league tournament. When we met him he was getting ready for some batting practice. He made his preparations in all seriousness, putting up pads, gloves and wielding a heavy-looking bat.
Says he, “Cricket for me is a very serious indulgence. It is my life’s sole passion. Even when I was a child I never felt that my handicap would stop me from playing cricket.” Wheelchair-bound from a very young age Deepak played cricket as a child the best way he could and continued it till his adulthood. Then he heard about the Divyang Cricket Control Board of India and it changed his life."