18-year-old Thejus Anthony from Kerala broke the glass ceiling by getting selected to Kerala state team at a young age. Despite having any godfathers in the game, he has relentlessly pursued his undying passion for cricket, while balancing his studies too.
Read Fan9’s interview with this talented teenager.
Coming from a middle-class family, cricket was something out-box for you. Tell us, how and when did you start your cricket career?
Well, I was fortunate to start my career at the Muthoot Cricket Academy. I was just a 10-year-old kid and I started off as a leg spinner. I got a chance to meet Indian player Sreesanth and KK Jiyas (he was picked up by the Australian team later as a spinner for net practice as they wanted to learn Kuldeep Yadav’s bowling variations.).
What inspired you, what was the big moment?
To be frank, there wasn’t any big moment for me to debut in cricket. I began playing in narrow alleys and local grounds near home. I really enjoyed playing cricket and I was fully involved. Also, my parents supported me to join the academy.
Tell us more on your biggest achievements?
The biggest achievement came when I was selected for the State Camp, after my superb performance in inter-district tournament of 2018.
I have represented the KCA U-16 team back in 2018 but I was only part of the reserves list. I have played for my district twice and the Kerala South zone also.
What motivated you the most to become a player?
It was India’s historic win at the 2011 ICC World Cup, that propelled me to choose a career in cricket.
What were your best cricket moments, you fondly remember even now?
There’s a record in my name for taking nine wickets in one innings in the inter-district tournament of 2018. I was the 2nd highest wicket taker in that tournament where I played six 2-day matches and took 35 wickets. This performance also helped me getting selected to the state team.
Who motivated you and helped to improve your skills?
I owe everything to my parents and my coach at Muthoot Sajith. He helped me and guided me through the hard times. He was the one who found my skills as a spinner. He always tried to make subtle changes in my techniques which later on proved to be quite effective in bowling.
Tell us when did you decide to focus on academics?
As time went by, my interests and passions seemed to shift. After being selected to the state team I was under immense pressure to perform. I was a good student but not a “genius”. I loved learning about science. There was so much inquisitiveness in me to know about how things worked and what made things work. I am currently studying in 12th and I wish to pursue engineering. I don’t play cricket professionally now, but still love to play whenever I get time.