India is full of hope and dreams. And if you are playing cricket in India right now, you might be preparing yourself for the toughest fight in any industry. Stats show that more than one billion people play cricket in India and nearly 80% of them does not turn professional. But, what if you are good not given a proper chance? You look for opportunities somewhere else. This is what happened when Bengal Cricketer, B. Arun went to Tamilnadu for some more genuine opportunities and then TNPL happened for him.
Arun Balasubramanian or B. Arun as they refer him in Tamilnadu was born in Tamilnadu. But then fate took him to the City of Joy, Kolkata. His passion for cricket started from there and he went on to play some professional club cricket in Kolkata.
But, fate turned for him when he decided to go to Tamilnadu in the Bengal off-season to play some club cricket in Tamil Nadu. This is 2015-16, B. Arun playing for the "Grand Slam CC", a first-division team in Tamil Nadu Club Cricket. Let me rephrase that for you, Grand Slam CC, the first-division team with N. Jagadeshan and Sai Kishore in the team, who went on to play for Tamil Nadu and IPL teams.
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As Arun already knew the culture and language of Tamil Nadu, he did not find it hard to mix with the TNCA cricket structure.
I never found it hard here in Tamil Nadu. When I came here 5-6 years back and played for the Grand Slam CC, players like Jagadeshan and Sai Kishore were friednly to me. The club helped me a lot during that period as well.B. Arun on his first encounter of Tamil Nadu Cricket
B. Arun was picked for the Kovai Kings, in the inaugural Tamil Nadu Premier League. The Kovai Kings had Tamil Nadu stalwart, Murali Vijay, as captain and South African legend Lance Klusener as the head coach of the team. Not only that, the team had Vijay Shankar among the other stars of the team. Arun still remembers that moment debuting for the Kovai Kings, referring to it as, "biggest match of my career".
This is stil the biggest match of my career. Murali Vijay was the captain. I had not played in that atmosphere before that. It was as big as it gets. On top of that Murali Vijay truste me with the super over as well.B. Arun on his biggest match of lide till date and TNPL debut
The first season was great for the off-spinner as he bowled with an outstanding economy of 6.5 in the six matches he played. However, he was on and off the team for the next few seasons. Though, he was quite accurate and economical in his bowling. Talking about his bowling style B. Arun said, "I prefer bowling dot balls"
As the team already have few IPL and Tamil Nadu stars, I know that I will have limited oppurtunities. And, if I go for runs, there is no chance of me bowling again. So, I like to build pressure with dot balls. If the wicket comes, good, if not then I am holding one end for my team. As an off-spinner I tend to work on my speed and accuracy rather than flight and loop.Arun on his bowling style
Coming to the 2021 season, B. Arun was retained by the Chepauk Super Gillies, after being champion in the 2019 season. Kaushik Gandhi was the captain of the team that season. However, Arun only got to play only one match that season. Though according to him, he learnt a lot from professionals like Murugan Ashwin and Vijay Shankar in the team.
When asked about how stars like Vijay Shankar and R. Satish prepare themselves for the biggest occasion, Arun phrased, "Nothing extra. They only focus on the game while playing the game. Off-the-field they all are just like us. But, they do prepare a lot before playing a new shot in a game or bowling a new variation."
Though he is eager to be back in the TNPL after being champion for the second time this year, he wants to continue his club cricket in the Bengal as well. With a bigger hope of "playing cricket at the highest level", Arun says, "I am ready to play anywhere I get the opportunity. Be it Bengal or Tamil Nadu".
As we went ahead in the conversation and asked him about what makes Tamil Nadu different or better than other states or leagues, he replied, "Nothing much. Talent is everywhere in India. In Tamil Nadu, it's just the exposure. Be it the crowd or the television telecast, it creates an environment like the IPL, which is great."
Though Tamil Nadu is yet to see the all-rounder B. Arun in action, he hopes to make some useful knocks with the bat to prove his worth as an all-rounder.