Gritty Shankar Sajjan is a special net bowler

Mumbai: Born with incomplete upper limbs because of a congenital chromosome imbalance, Shankar Sajjan has overcome many an obstacle. The 19-year-old from Bengaluru has only four fingers in his right arm, but the gritty youngster has already made a name for himself in cricket circles despite the deformity.

Sajjan, who has rubbed shoulders with the likes of Rashid Khan in Afghanistan nets and IPL stars during RCB training sessions, got the biggest surprise of his life last week when Delhi Bulls, a franchise in Abu Dhabi-based league, invited him to bowl at their nets under the supervision of England captain Eoin Morgan and former New Zealand skipper Stephen Fleming.

It was his first trip outside India and he had to arrange passport and visa in three days. “The passport and visa were arranged in 72 hours and I reached Abu Dhabi,” said Sajjan.

“Morgan, Fleming and other team members gave me a warm welcome. It was a great experience to have bowled to some of the leading international cricketers,” added Sajjan.  

Sajjan’s first big break came through former India coach Anil Kumble who had organised a ‘Spin Hunt’ in 2015. “I was playing for a local club in Bengaluru. Of the 3,000-plus participants, only 21 were selected and I was the only one with special abilities,” recalled Sajjan who idolises former India spinner B.S. Chandrasekhar.

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