Dubai: Ansh Tandon, who bagged the best batsman of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) Under-16 Western Region tournament last week, idolises Indian captain Virat Kohli. “I idolise Kohli for his aggression and passion towards the game. My aim and dream is to play for India and I will work harder to reach there,” he said.
Tandon scored 250 runs from the four matches, which included a knock of 142 off 72 balls against Maldives. He also hit the most number of sixes in the tournament and effected four run outs and a catch to play a pivotal role in the UAE emerging as the champions of this event.
It’s Tandon’s hard work from a very young age that won him the prestigious award. For the last four years, Gulf News has tracked the progress of this opener’s exploits in different tournaments. In February 2013, Tandon hogged the limelight through the Al Sadiq Under-10 tournament representing Gulf Asian English School and winning three Man of the Match awards.
“I realised very early that cricket is in my genes and I believe that I got it from my dad, who is a keen lover of the game. My passion for the game got me working hard every day. I joined Sharjah Cricket Academy when I was nine years old and the coaches there taught me my basics. My dad too helped me improve my skills,” he said in an interview.
Recalling the 2013 Under-10 tournament, Tandon said: “In the Al-Sadiq Under 10 tournament. I hit 94 runs off 34 balls and another 96 runs off 46 balls. In that tournament, I won three Man of the Match and the Player of Tournament award. I was thrilled to receive the award from the legendary Waqar Younis. It was one of my memorable tournaments.”
Tandon worked harder after his first success. “Though I still practice at Sharjah Academy, I also began to practice at Ajman Cricket Council. I train two to three hours every day, but as I have my Grade 10 board exams, I pay attention to my studies as well.” Tandon is able to aim high along with his studies due to his school’s support. “As I am gearing up for my board exams it is hard to focus on cricket and studies, but my school (Gulf Asian English School in Sharjah) has backed me especially my school’s Principal Nasreen Bano Maam and all the teachers encouraging me to balance my studies while chasing my goal.
“Whenever I receive the best batsman or player of the tournament award, I feel proud, but at the same time I thank my coaches and my parents who have lifted me to this stage. My aim and dream is to play for India and I will work harder to reach there,” he said.
Tandon strives to make sure about his consistency in domestic cricket and during tours abroad. “I was a top-scorer in the domestic ECB U17 Tournament (2016-2017), and ‘B’ Division Aries tournaments. I play in Sharjah Cricket Club ‘A’ Division Tournaments. I have played in UK, India and Malaysia representing UAE. Over the years I have realised that if I can focus on scoring big, I can achieve my goal.”