Rajindra Ramballi: The all-rounder on and off the cricket field
Fifteen-year-old Essequibo cricketer Rajindra Ramballi wants to play at the highest level and his passion comes from an inclination to Australian cricketer Steve Smith, currently the world’s best Test batsman.
While Ramballi is a left-hander, the two may have more in common than many think since Ramballi started his career as a leg-spinner and is now a frontline batsman, very much like the man from ‘Down Under.’
“Steve Smith, I want to be like Steve Smith,” the lad related in a recent interview with News Room Sport.
“I like the way how he is calm when he is batting and how he is focused, and his batting style,” the youngster added.
When Smith made his international debut in 2010, Ramballi was just four years of age, running around at his home in Affiance, Essequibo Coast.
Ten years later, he wants to be everything like Australia’s marque Test batsman.
In 2020, he was selected to the Guyana Under-15 squad, but the tournament was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, with the support of his father, Harrischan Ramballi, the opening batsman has kept working on his craft.
“When I played Under-15 [for Essequibo], I went to the trials and made a lot of runs, and since then I started to focus on batting.”
While the big scores as his idol have not come as yet, the young Ramballi has a pedigree for patience as in his three innings for Essequibo, after which he made the National team, he batted more than 15 overs and in one match he occupied the crease for more than 23 overs.
Dinesh Joseph, a former senior Essequibo captain, is Ramballi’s coach. He feels the young man, who is also aspiring to be a Mechanical Engineer, has some solid ingredients to play the sport at the highest level.
“First of all, the love for the game [he has]. These days you don’t see a lot of youngsters having the love for the game, and he has patience in order to bat long,” the coach expressed.
He added: “For the years I have been around, I have seen we have talent, and it is just to get them in a group or an academy and build them from there because our level is just on par with the other two counties.”
For the lad who attends Anna Regina Multilateral, outside of academics and cricket, he has found time to participate in notable social groups, with the Guyana Police Force Youth Group being one; he’s also an active member of Non-Government Organisation, Mahadeo Foundation.
In 2019, he received a Youth Award from the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport for his contribution to sport.
Being humble about some of the accolades and off-field accomplishments to date, one thing Rajindra is certain about, and that is he has to work hard to achieve his goals, and it is something he is willing to do.
“I got to work really hard, not good comes easy, so I have to work hard. I have to work on my fitness and keep working hard.”