SRIKAKULAM: Dunntesh Venka, who gave his best performance in four cricket World Cup tournaments (for blind), all of which India won, and two T20 World Cup matches, has been struggling to find a job. Born at Uddanama Ramakrishnapuram, a small village in Uddanam region of Vajrapukotturu Mandal, he worked as drill teacher in a government high school at Devunaltada village from 2013 to 2018, before his contract was terminated on technical grounds.
Venkatesh spent the entire reward money he won from the matches on medical treatment of his father, who fell prey to CKD (chronic kidney disease), like many others in the region. But all the money he spent on hospital bills could not save his father, who died in July following the failure of both his kidneys. Loss of job and his loved father served a heavy blow to him and, now, left with no choice, Venkatesh has taken recourse to the desperate step of borrowing money to stay afloat.
His younger brother is a daily wage worker in the village. But his earnings are hardly enough to make both ends meet. Apart from prize money he received from his cricket matches, he got no support either from the State government or from the Centre.“I was selected for the Indian team in 2011 and hit seven centuries in ODIs and 13 half-centuries in T-20 matches,” Venkatesh said.
Speaking to TNIE, he said he had participated in the World Cup in 2014 and 2018 and T-20 World Cup in 2012 and 2017. He also played in Asia Cup and other international matches. An all-rounder, Venkatesh scalped 35 wickets in ODIs and 33 in T-20 matches. His 42 for three against Proteas in 2014 was his best bowling performance.
“To run the family I am sending my brother to work,” Venkatesh said, with a twinge of regret. “The Central government had given `5 lakh to each player when our team won World Cup finals in 2014 (ODI) and 2017 (T-20). Neither the Centre nor the State government has offered me any job.”