The next cricket star in the making?

The next cricket star in the making?
Varun Nayanar

Varun Nayanar, India U-19 cricket member, discusses the juggle between sports and academics

By Natalia Ahmed

Published: Thu 15 Aug 2019, 2:42 PM

Last updated: Thu 15 Aug 2019, 4:50 PM

High school student Varun Nayanar has managed to achieve the dreams of every schoolboy when chosen to be a part of the Indian U-19 cricket team. What is more impressive is that he is the first NRI to join the team, showing that it is possible to play for one's country despite being out of its borders.
However, this is a large responsibility to shoulder, especially because Varun must shuttle between Dubai and India for practices, meetings, and matches. He is grateful that he is able to pursue his dream, saying, "I consider myself lucky to get an opportunity to pursue my dream even though I am a non-resident."
Though he is still in school, Varun speaks about his passion as a mature individual, capable of critically analysing himself, recognising the opportunities granted to him and smart enough to know when to grab one by the horns.
Despite seeing himself as anxious and over-worried about the way he plays, he is able to inspire confidence in his teammates and coaches due to constant patience and resilience. Aware and mature enough to recognise his own strengths and weaknesses, Varun strives to make sure he continues to satisfy his coaches while still continuing to better himself. One issue that he struggles with is the inability to say no, to constantly take up too much on his plate.
Varun manages to maintain his skill by having strict routines to help him stay disciplined, including a fixed sleep schedule, eating pattern, warm-up exercises, and more. Like many sports players before him, Varun has a small ritual to help calm his nerves before playing a game, involving taking a sip of water and saying a small prayer before stepping onto the ground.
When asked about how he juggles high school and cricket, he makes sure to look at the positive aspect of it. Rather than get bogged down by the tasks required to complete, he prefers to look at the silver lining of it all, saying, "I consider myself lucky to get such opportunities to achieve my dream that many others don't get. I try to focus on the task at hand, be it cricket or studies." Though he does admit that it gets difficult at times, he is grateful for a strong support system from the school and the family, both of which has made it easier for him to achieve his dreams.
Outside of school and cricket, Varun does not have much time for other sports. He is also interested in economics and business, and sees himself as an outdoor person.
Like any good student, he uses his free time to catch up with schoolwork, but also loves exploring new spaces and trying out local foods. At home, he sticks to reading and plays games with his little brother.
Despite missing the ongoing U-19 UK tour, Varun is excited for the state season that will begin this October, and looks forward to performing his very best and contributing to the overall team's performance.
He attributes his skills to his coaches and Kricket Spero Academy for their constant support, discipline, and valuable lessons. He also owes his success to his parents and his school, allowing him to take months off for practice while still being a part of GEMS Modern Academy.

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