KARNAL: Pacer Navdeep Saini's parents have a huge reason to smile! Saini, who made a stunning foray into international cricket as he took three wickets against West Indies in the first T20I of the three-match series, has made his parents extremely proud.
Navdeep had recorded bowling spell of 3-17 in his allotted four overs in his debut match.
Hoping to see more good performances coming from him in future, Amarjeet Saini, father of Navdeep Saini said, "My child will work hard going forward as well and I am confident he will show more good performances. In his first over, he was hit for a six initially, but he came back and dismissed the batsman staging a strong comeback."
Saini was called upon to bowl in the fourth over of Windies innings, the pacer was hit for a six on the second ball of the over, but he made a stunning comeback as he dismissed Nicholas Pooran and Shimron Hetmyer on successive deliveries.
The 26-year-old pacer bowled a remarkable final over as he did not concede any run and he also returned with the key scalp of Keiron Pollard.
Navdeep's father thanked former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir for recognising the potential in Saini. Gambhir was instrumental in bringing Navdeep into the domestic cricket setup.
"In the final over, he did not concede any run, he displayed good skills. I would like to thank Gautam Gambhir for his faith in Saini," Amarjeet said.
While giving an insight into the bowler's interest in cricket, Navdeep's mother, Gurmeet Kaur said that the whole family was glued to television as soon as the match started.
"Navdeep was in 5th standard, he started playing cricket then and we learnt that he has an interest in the sport. Navdeep was always adamant towards playing cricket," Kaur told ANI.
"I am very happy; as soon as the match started we were glued to the TV screens. We did not even prepare food and got hooked to our television screen. I would like to thank the almighty. I was hoping for a good performance from him," she added.
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar also congratulated the bowler for his impressive performance in the first T20I of the three-match series.
"I would like to congratulate Navdeep for his performance in the first T20I against West Indies. He has made us proud," Khattar told ANI.
Bhagwaan Das Kabir Panthi, MLA Nilokheri (Haryana) hoped that Saini would inspire children to take up the sport and make people of Nilokheri proud.
"We are very happy that a small-town boy has shown such good performance. He displayed good skills. It looks like Saini is a future star and I am confident about his good performance going forward. Whenever he returns to town, we will give him a grand reception," Panthi told ANI.
Hoping that children will devote time to sporting activities after school, Panthi urged Chief Minister to make a platform for children under which they can take part in extra-curricular activities.
India had defeated West Indies by four wickets in the first T20I. The match was a low-scoring affair as West Indies were restricted to 95/9 in the allotted twenty overs.
The Men in Blue chased down the target with four wickets in hand and 16 balls to spare.
India takes on West Indies in the second T20I in Florida today.