LUCKNOW: It’s been quite a journey for Australia’s U-21 forward Kiran Arunasalam. In the city for the junior World Cup, his parents trace their heritage back to Tirupattur, a small town near Vellore in Tamil Nadu. “My dad and mother are Malaysian Indians,” he says. “But they trace their heritage back to Tirupattur. We still have a family house there. I’ve been there about twice.”
The Swinburne University marketing student doesn’t have a huge frame on him — a thing that betrays his genes — but he is very Aussie the way he talks. “I love to throw my weight around. I don’t have much mass but I throw it around because you got to use your body.” Something Kiran has been doing ever since he was four years old. “My brother first started playing the sport and whenever I saw him, he always had a stick in his hand. That’s how it began.
I don’t know when I became serious but it’s 16 years now.” He may not be as fit others on his team, but he knows his strengths. “Maybe I’m not as fit as some others, but I bring skills to the team. I’m a bit more agile for example.” Given no Indian origin player has managed to enter the Australian senior team in recent memory, Kiran has a huge obstacle in front of him. But his heart is in the right place.
India begin with big win even as fog hogs limelight
There were no hiccups for the Indian junior team as they begun their campaign with a comfortable 4-0 win over Canada. Meanwhile, with fog showing no signs of relenting, the FIH announced that they would bring forward some games. “With existing weather conditions continuing, the FIH felt it was important to review the schedule in order to minimize any future disruption.”