Mangalorean Vikrant Shetty to play T20 World Cup cricket for UAE
Daijiworld Media Network
Dubai, Mar 4: It was his dream to play for India as a cricketer, but 31-year-old middle order Mangalorean batsman Vikrant Shetty, who plays for the UAE national team, will find his dream 'reversed' as he gets ready to play against India in the upcoming T20 World Cup to be held in Dhaka, Bangadesh from March 16.
UAE has qualified to play in this World Cup, and three matches are guaranteed in the league level. The first match will be against The Netheralands on March 17, then against Ireland on March 19, and Zimbabwe on March 21. If UAE qualifies for the next round, it can face India. If not, he will get another opportunity if he is selected for the 2015 World Cup cricket, as UAE is scheduled to face India in the first round!
Vikrant Shetty, who was born in Mumbai to parents hailing from Bailur, Karkala, studied in Bangalore and is now employed in Dubai. He could be the second cricketer from Tulunadu after Dayananda Bangera to play in the UAE national team at the higher level. Bangera had missed playing the World Cup in India during 1996 but is now a certified coach in Abu Dhabi.
Vikrant has already played two ODIs, making a debut against Bangladesh in 2008, and second one on February 1 this year against Scotland at Lincoln. Though he did not make much of an impact in his two ODIs, his current form could help him secure a place in the team if he performs consistently. He is hopeful of making it to the final eleven in the T20 World Cup.
Vikrant is not a professonal cricketer; he works for a media firm in Dubai, and devotes his free time to playing cricket. He joined the Cricket Academy in Bangaore when he was 11. He was groomed at Brjesh Patel and Imtiaz Cricket Academies. He has played alongside Stuart Binny, Robin Uttappa and other players at junior levels. While studying in Dubai, he was awarded cricket scholarship that fuelled his interest in playing cricket in Dubai, he says.
At the moment, Vikrant is trying to balance his life between cricket and his job. He feels that getting an opportunity to play at the world level is a reward for his commitment and dedication to the game. He does not want to look back if he gets the right opportunity. His bat will speak for him, he says. He is also an occasional off-break bowler.
Let's wish him good luck, and may he play the World Cup 2015 in Australia too.