On 14 January this year, tragedy struck at the home of Saurashtra’s 22-year-old fast bowler. Chetan Sakariya’s younger brother, Rahul died by suicide on the day, leaving behind an anguished family.
While Chetan and his family have not yet recovered from the heartbreak, luck seems to be shining on the family. Chetan Sakariya has been bought by the Rajasthan Royals for Rs. 1.20 crore to play the IPL this season.
The cricketer’s sister, Jignasha, said, “We are yet to come out from this tragedy. We don’t know how to express our mixed feelings when my eldest brother Chetan grabbed this IPL contract.”
Incidentally, on the day Rahul died, Chetan was playing in Indore. The sister tells us that they had not informed the cricketer of his brother’s death for about 10 days after. “We requested his coach and friends to keep this a secret,” adds Jignasha. “We didn’t want him to be distracted. Only after returning home did he know about Rahul committing suicide.”
The family does understand the big deal Chetan’s contract means. “The IPL selection is a birthday gift my brother Chetan got 10 days before his 23rd birthday. He called us from Kolkata, and told us that he has become a crore-pati,” she adds with a weak smile.
“We are a very poor family. We didn’t have a TV set at home, and my brothers used to go to our neighbour’s house to watch matches. Chetan didn’t have money to even buy spike shoes,” the sister points out. “My father, Kanji Bhai, who used to drive a large rickshaw, has not been keeping well but with this money Chetan can now think of buying a new house in Rajkot.”
Chetan’s uncle, Mansukh Bhai reveals that Chetan’s dad had wanted him to be an engineer. “But Chetan has other plans. He has lived most of his 22 years with us and I know how serious he was about taking this game to the next level,” he said.