Pune: A World Cup at any level is the biggest prize in cricket. And there can't be a bigger disappointment than a player who is expected to play a crucial role for his side is forced to sit out due to injury.
About a year back, Manan Vohra suffered such a low. The Punjab batsman hadbeen with the national under-19 team for close to three years. Impressive performance through grade cricket meant he was in India's U-19 team for the 2012 World Cup in Australia.
However, just days before the event, a finger injury ruled him out of the tournament. India went on to lift the Cup as a dejected Vohra watched from the confines of his home.
Vohra, who is coached by former Test bowler Yograj Singh, Yuvraj's father, was picked by Kings XI Punjab for this season of the Indian domestic league.
And his debut at the Subroto Roy stadium on Sunday was one that Vohra won't forget for a while. On a wicket on which Pune crawled to 99, the 19-year-old No 3 showed the way with some aggressive batting. The highlight of his 28-ball unbeaten 43 that helped KXIP breeze to a comprehensive win was hitting Ashok Dinda for 16 runs in one over.
Vohra's knock that saw his team home helped heal some of the wounds of the past. "My family and I felt miserable when I had to miss the World Cup. I had been with the team and was in the squad but got injured," he recalled.
"The faith the captain and coach showed in me helped me, as I was nervous as hell when I walked out," he said.
His next chance will come at home against the formidable Chennai Super Kings on Wednesday.