"I am done with cricket" - How PBKS' Vaibhav Arora recovered from painful lows to shine on IPL debut
"Sir please fine me a private job, I am done with cricket"
A shining light of Punjab Kings' (PBKS) impressive win over Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in IPL 2022 on Sunday (April 3), uncapped Indian pacer Vaibhav Arora returned with astonishing figures of 2 for 21 off his 4 overs.
The right-arm quick from Himachal Pradesh helped PBKS clinch a comprehensive 54-run victory over defending champions CSK in Mumbai and grabbed the fans' attention with his new-ball exploits.
The 24-year-old got the prized scalps of Robin Uthappa and Moeen Ali inside the powerplay and rocked CSK's run-chase to the extent that they never recovered from those early blows.
Fans and former cricketers were effusive in praise of Vaibhav Arora and spoke of his bright prospects for the rest of the tournament.
Such a day makes Arora's case inspiring, for there is a chance that the youngster might have never made the cut for the IPL and gone lost to a private job.
From nearly quitting cricket to a sparkling IPL debut for PBKS, story of Vaibhav Arora
Back in 2018, Vaibhav Arora's personal coach Ravi Verma revealed, the cricketer strongly considered giving up the sport and opt for a private job that helps him make ends meet. For Arora, the struggle wasn't financial but one of confidence and a sense of security within his game.
Verma told Indian Express how irritated the pacer was when during a district game a number of dropped catches off his bowling ruined his bowling figures and threatened to derail his progress to the higher levels.
“'Sir koi bhi private naukari dekh lo, cricket ab nahi ho sakta (Sir please fine me a private job, I am done with cricket)," Verma recalled his conversation with the player. "I told him to get a ‘Quitter’ tattoo on his forehead and never call me again."
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Challenging Arora to continue persisting amidst the tough days, Verma's remarks led to a major turnaround in the pacer's game. The coach's words got him working harder at his skill and that resulted in a major career breakthrough. Soon, during the 2019-20 winters, Vaibhav Arora earned his maiden Ranji Trophy call-up for HP.
He made his first-class debut for Himachal against Saurashtra at former's home venue in Dharamshala and went on to also kick off his List A and T20 career with the state side.
In his initial days at the senior domestic level, Arora developed a nice bond and friendship with Punjab's left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh, who helped him sign up as a net bowler with PBKS for IPL 2020. Bowling to the best players in the world in practice and earning their praise helped boost the pacer's confidence immensely.
"Those 80 days with the Punjab Kings gave me an enormous amount of confidence. It took my bowling to the next level. I was bowling to KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Glenn Maxwell, Mayank Agarwal in the nets. It took the fear factor away from me," Indian Express quoted Vaibhav Arora as saying.
"After our first net session in Dubai, Rahul bhai asked me where do I play from and said you would play in IPL soon. Anil sir also came to me once and asked a similar question; he said I have got the potential and told me to keep working hard," he added.