What’s the story?
Chepauk Super Gillies captain Rajagopal Sathish revealed how he overcame a serious knee injury to help his team achieve something special in this season of the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL).
He recollected how he had injured himself during a league match against TUTI Patriots and was almost ruled out of the tournament. But he decided against treatment right away and played with painkillers.
“The knee injury happened while I was fielding against Tuti in a league match. I was almost ruled out of the tournament after the third match. Last year we faltered in the final. This year I wanted to do something special for the side. I decided to play with painkillers and postponed my treatment. Hemang (coach) didn't stop me,” Sathish told the Times of India.
“It hampered my movement. I couldn't play the slog, get down on the knee or charge.My knee was strapped heavily I had to bowl as well but I knew I could push. I decided to come down to No 7 and let the youngsters take charge. I knew if I stayed there, I could guide them. Cricket is my passion and the victory was sweet,” he added.
The 36-year-old all-rounder was playing with a ligament tear in his knee that he had suffered about 10 days prior. Going into the final, he was under tremendous pressure as he had underperformed in all the previous games.
Moreover, Tuti, the opponents, had a mental edge over Chepauk, having won all the previous four matches between the two sides.
However, in the end, it was Sathish’s experience that helped him cope with the pressure. He hit two sixes in the 16th over bowled by slinger Athisayaraj Davidson and helped his team get back on the track. At the end, Vasanth Saravanan hit the winning runs for the team.
The heart of the matter
Sathish, who has undergone four surgeries on the same knee in the last 10 years, spoke how his understanding with Vasanth, someone he had played with for almost 25 years, helped. He said that they had planned on attacking young off-spinner Washington Sundar in the death.
He added that it was all about handling pressure. Even as the required rate soared above 10, the duo did not get nervous and stuck to their plan.
Sathish will now undergo a series of test before taking a call on a fifth surgery on the same left knee.
Sathish was brave to play with such a severe injury on his knee and he was lucky to have guided his team to victory. It was his experience that helped him keep calm under the immense pressure but it is definitely not advisable to play with injuries.