Few have come close to accomplishing what this youngster has over the last few years. Ever since his record setting knock of 319 not out and 13 wickets at the age of 14, he’s been proving doubters wrong every step. Coming from humble beginnings, he understands the value of incorporating the right steps to achieving his goals. Not only is he one of the best players in India right now, he’s growing steadily year over year. He could just be the next cricketing God of India if all cards play well.
The journey began when he first was selected in the Mumbai U-19 squad at the age of 14. Playing with older players was always a challenge, but he seemed to have a natural gift at timing the ball well. His cricket IQ has always been his strong point, as he understands how to play the field well. He’s also one of the few mild-mannered players that doesn’t believe in showing emotions out in the field. He lets his game do the talking.
He’s made Dadar Union proud and helped the Mumbai squad out with both his batting and bowling on the ground. The Limca Book of Records has recognized this young talent many times over, as he’s now playing with Arjun Tendulkar in the U-19 squad. He hopes to learn as much as possible from the best of talent in the field and refine his game even further as the months pass by.
“He’s a talented kid. That’s why he’s at my academy. What he’s done is highly commendable. The best part about him is that he has his best years ahead of him. He just needs to put in the same amount of hard-work and dedication for the next couple of years and he’ll be right up there,” – Dilip Vengsarkar former Indian captain.
But all wasn’t rosy for this youngster as he’s had to face a lot of challenges early on in life. He was the son of a small-time shopkeeper in Bhadohi (UP) and moved to Mumbai to pursue a dream of cricket. He wanted to do so at the age of 11. His father wasn’t against this decision as Yash had shown talent and was disciplined in his approach. The family’s financial pressures would be lessened as well – which was an added factor.
He started living in a dairy farm at Kalbadevi on the condition that he would help them out after cricket practise. However, he was so tired at the end of the practise day that he couldn’t life a single bail. He was then thrown out in the streets again. Yash had to do things differently. He knew that he needed a stable place to stay if he had to compete for the dream of playing for India. He had the raw talent but needed the stability that only a home can provide.
He was then given a temporary home under a tent in the Muslim United Club at Azad Maidan. He had doubts about giving up and going home, but the tent became his home for more than 3 years. He’s fought through hell and back to ensure that he can continue playing cricket at a high level. This level of sacrifice and dedication to the game has now given him a real shot at showcasing his talent.
What did Yash do for money? He sold pani-puri and fruits as a local vendor. You may have even passed him by without giving a second glance. Now he’s playing alongside Sachin Tendulkar’s son.
“During Ram Leela, I earned well. I prayed that my teammates would not come there for pani-puri. Sometimes they did and I would feel bad serving them. I always used to see boys my age bringing food or their parents had big lunches with them. As for me, it was — khana khud banao, khud khao. No breakfast. Catch hold of anyone around and request them to buy breakfast.” – Yashaswi Jaiswal
He’s never known what it is like to be a kid in his life, as he’s always been struggling to get closer to his dreams. But all of this has made him a better player. He’s faced so much mental pressure that playing cricket has become a means to survive. As long as he had his game, he knew that he could survive.
“You are talking about mental pressure in cricket? I have faced it daily in my life for years. Those have made me strong. Scoring runs is not important. I know I will score and take wickets. For me, whether I get the next meal or not, that’s important. “ – Yashaswi Jaiswal
His guardian angel came in the form of a local coach Jwala Singh who saw him compete against players much better than him. Coach Jwala was also a migrant from UP and found it hard to settle in Mumbai with no money or godfather. That’s why he took him under his wing and gave him a residence in a chawl nearby.
Recently, there has been a lot of attention given to Arjun Tendulkar’s selection to the India U-19 squad. However, Yashaswi is also the only the other player to be selected from Mumbai to play in the team. This makes the two highly special in the hearts and minds of the Indian cricketing squads. Not only are the fans excited to the see their potential, ex-cricketers are placing their hopes on this next generation as well.
His team, Dadar Union felicitated him for the India U-19 call-up, as he’s made the whole of Mumbai extremely proud. Not only has he bagged awards after awards he’s inspiring the next generation to play cricket just like him. What began as a journey from Bhadohi in Uttar Pradesh has now become a dream come to life for the youngster. He’s filled with potential and can carry a team effortlessly to the finals.