P Hariharan, the 14-year-old from Chennai, has bowled his team, Asiatic Cricket Academy, to two successive victories in the Golden Wind-Promax Colts U-15 tournament. And how? With an amputated left arm and two deformed fingers on right hand.
Hariharan’s left arm had to be amputated after a medical negligence left him with gangrene. But the desire to become a cricketer has seen him emerge as the main spinner of his team. With no left arm to support his action, he uses his right shoulder to generate the thrust while releasing the ball. Negligence turned tragic
While a disability like this can make a player a liability on the field, Hariharan, in fact, is far from that. He dives around and stops the ball without fumbling. “I don’t fear the ball, and while playing cricket I feel like any other player and I don’t think about my disability.” Asset, not a liability
When Hariharan showed a keen interest in the game, his parents never discouraged him from pursuing his dreams. Support of parents
But it was not easy for Hariharan as many academies were not willing to let him in because of his disability until he found a supporting mentor in R Chandrasekhar. “While others thought Hariharan could not play normal cricket, I saw a spark in this guy. Initially, he wanted to do wicket keeping, but then I told him to switch to leg-spin because that would suit him more with his ailment.” — R Chandrasekhar Finding his mentor
The Chennai lad is keen on excelling in regular club-level cricket and is dreaming big. “I want to play for Tamil Nadu in Ranji Trophy one day.” Aspirations