As soon as he reached his home in Vartej in Bhavnagar district of Gujarat, medium-pacer Chetan Zakaria took a bath, put on his PPE kit and went to a nearby hospital where his father Kanjibhai was admitted after testing positive for Kovid-19.

Zachariah got a call last week that his father had tested positive and had been admitted to the hospital. “I was lucky because I received my part payment from Rajasthan Royals a few days ago. I immediately transferred the money back home, which will help my family a lot during my difficult times,” Zakaria, who represented Rajasthan Royals in the IPL, told The Indian Express.

The IPL was postponed on Tuesday following the occurrence of Kovid-19 cases in various IPL teams.

For domestic players like Zakaria, money from the IPL, without a cap and without a central contract, is a livelihood.

“People say stop IPL. I want to tell them something. I am the only bread earner in my family. Cricket is the only source of income for me. Coming from a family, my father has driven the tempo all his life and my whole life is going to change because of the IPL, ”said Zakaria, who was selected for the auction for Rs 1.20 crore.

Since he got home, his daily schedule revolves around hospital visits. From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., he sat on a bench in the hospital. Zakaria is particularly concerned that his father is a diabetic patient.

A few months ago, on the day he became a millionaire in the IPL 2021 auction, he expressed a regret. A few months before that, he lost his younger brother, who was very close. He said a storm of Rs 1.20 crore would change his life unexpectedly, but he was experiencing emptiness inside due to the death of his brother.

Zakaria impressed in the IPL with his skill and composure. He took seven wickets and said he never expected to be the first choice for his team with the new ball.

“Sanju Bhai (Sanju Samson) came and told me that management sees a lot of potential in me, so be ready, you ‘re playing. I could not sleep that night.

He spoke to his coach Rajendra Goyal back in Bhavnagar and advised him to take it lightly. In his debut against the Punjab Kings, Zakaria took 3 for 31, including KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal. However, it was the MS Dhoni wicket of the Chennai Super Kings that he will remember for the rest of his life. “Since everyone knows how big a player he is and how he pulls out of the game in death overs, I’m glad I got him in advance and didn’t give him that chance,” he said.

After the game against Mumbai Indians, he ran to get Rohit Sharma’s autograph. The Mumbai captain praised him and said he was on the right track. Prior to the tournament, he was concerned about how foreign players would relate to him and other domestic players, but his concerns were allayed only after a team bonding session. “It really felt like home,” he says.

Occasionally, complaints are received from home. “They call out why you’re losing. Start winning. It feels bad. How can I tell them the pressure is too high here? There’s no margin of error. But they knock mat cutaw yar,” (Don’t lose face!) “

Like many IPL players, Zakaria hopes the rest of the season will happen soon. Unlike name and fame, earned money changes lives. Zakaria’s family needs a new home. “I am the only member who has earned a lot in my community. My mother does not know how many zeros there are in crores. Our first priority is to look back at our father and build that house. For that, the IPL must take place.


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