It might not be a big deal for Suresh Raina to gift Rajasthan's teen sensation Aditya Garhwal one of his prized willows, but the gesture is certainly one that the youngster will remember for the rest of his life.
Garhwal again hit a double century on Saturday as he smashed his way to 212 off just 132 balls against Vidarbha in the Vinoo Mankad trophy match in Ghaziabad. He had earlier scored 263 and 196 and has now managed to amass 763 runs in five games. But for Garhwal, nothing is more special than Raina's bat.
Speaking to MAIL TODAY, Garhwal said it was the best day of his life and a gift that he will cherish forever. In fact, it is hard for the Rajasthan boy to believe that this year's Diwali would turn out to be so special.
"What can I say? It's not every day that you get such a special gift. All I can say is that it is the best day of my life. I have been showing the bat to everybody. It shall remain very close to my heart and it surely is a pleasant surprise," he said.
Raina might have sent him a signed bat, but the India batsman doesn't want the youngster to lose his focus in all this adulation.
"I think he is a superb player and more importantly a run-machine. But I want him to stay focused and keep scoring like this," he told MAIL TODAY.
But life hasn't been a cakewalk for Garhwal. He was on the verge of quitting cricket last year after a dismal showing in this very competition. But he worked on his game and ensured that his approach was far more mature this time round.
"After failing to score last year, I told my parents that I have had enough and I don't want to continue anymore. But my coach Anshu Jain and my parents asked me to stick it out. I am glad that I listened to them and focused on my game. I ensured that I started steady and attacked only in the powerplay overs. Starting off cautiously has helped me play long knocks," the 18-year-old said.