THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Irrespective of whether Sanju V Samson makes his international debut for the Indian cricket team against England at Bristol on Monday or not, his father Viswanath Samson is a very proud man.
The former Delhi police constable says he prefers to watch the game alone at their new home near Vizhinjam; however, guests are bound to visit considering the gravity of his younger son’s achievement.
“It is a matter of great pride to be in the Indian team. But that is not enough. He will have to pounce on the chances coming his way and be a mainstay of the team,” the father has set high standards for Sanju.
It has been like this since his childhood. Samson was willing to sacrifice his career with Delhi Police and return to Kerala for the sake of Sanju and his brother Sally’s cricket careers.
“Don’t call me overconfident, but I have trust in my children’s abilities,” he says.
“At the nets of Feroz Shah Kotla and Police Sports Complex, I had seen 11-year-old Sanju play against bowlers of 25-26 years with ease. So, I had no doubt that he would wear the Indian jersey one day,” says Samson.
“Also, though my children were talented in cricket, for a father like me, Delhi cricket was far beyond my reach. And I had told them from the beginning that I wanted to see them play for Kerala rather than Delhi,” Samson says of his decision to come to Kerala.
For Sanju, Samson is more than just a father. He has been his inspiration, motivator and, moreover, a friend. In an interview to TNIE on January 22, 2008, only 10 months after arriving in Kerala from Delhi, a 13-year-old Sanju had attested to the fact.
“My father gives me the moral support. He also gives me all the cricket accessories though they are pretty costly,” he had said, in his first interview.
“I haven’t gone out of bounds to care for my children. All I did was to do a father’s duties,” Samson reacts.
“Sanju and Sally needed a guide and only I could be that. I am their friend, I take them to games, watch them and bring them back,” he adds.
However, it was not always happy tidings for the Samsons. “Sanju has been overlooked on many occasion citing he was too young, like during the 2012 Under-19 World Cup.
In the camp prior, Sanju was made to bat seven down, a position where he had not played before and was dropped unjustly,” he says.
“It was an insult of Sanju’s talent. Such moments could hurt a player very badly and it hurt Sanju. But my son is not one to bow down. He comes back stronger every time and what we see today is a result of that,” he says, wiping tears off his eyes.