Sanju Viswanath Samson, often referred to as a “cricketing sensation,” is a name that has been steadily rising in Indian cricket circles. Born on 11th November 1994, in Pulluvila, Kerala, Sanju has captivated the cricketing world with his exceptional batting skills, sharp wicket-keeping, and dynamic captaincy. From his early days in the sport to leading teams at the highest levels, this article delves into the remarkable journey of this Indian cricket prodigy.
Early Life and Cricketing Roots:
Sanju Samson’s cricketing journey began in Kerala, where he was born into a Malayali Christian family. His father, Samson Viswanath, who was formerly a police constable, also represented Delhi in football’s Santhosh Trophy. This sporting background provided the foundation for young Sanju’s interest in sports. His elder brother, Saly Samson, also followed a similar path, representing Kerala in junior cricket and later working in the AG’s office.
Samson’s early cricketing education was under the guidance of coach Yashpal at the academy in DL DAV Model School, Shalimar Bagh, Delhi. However, when he failed to make it into the Delhi U-13 team for the Dhruv Pandove Trophy, his father took voluntary retirement from the Delhi police force. They moved to Kerala, where Sanju and his brother continued their cricketing careers.
In Kerala, he honed his skills at Masters Cricket Club in Thiruvananthapuram before transitioning to Biju George’s guidance at Medical College Ground, Thiruvananthapuram. His cricketing journey paralleled his academic pursuits as he graduated from St. Joseph’s Higher Secondary School and later pursued a B.A. degree in English literature from Mar Ivanios College, Thiruvananthapuram.
Youth and Domestic Cricket Success:
Sanju’s journey from a young aspiring cricketer to a star player began in the junior ranks. He captained Kerala’s U-13 cricket team in 2007 and showcased his talent by scoring 973 runs in the KSCA Inter-State under-13 tournament, including four centuries in just five matches. His achievements continued as he scored a double century off 138 balls for Kerala’s U-16 team in the 2008–09 Vijay Merchant Trophy.
His performances opened doors to the India U-19 team, and he was named vice-captain for the 2013 Top End Under-19 Series in Australia. Sanju’s highlight during this period was scoring a century in the final against Pakistan, helping India retain the ACC Under 19 Asia Cup in UAE. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) recognized his leadership qualities and appointed him as vice-captain for the 2014 Under-19 Cricket World Cup, where he emerged as India’s top run-scorer.
Sanju’s journey in domestic cricket was equally impressive. He made his first-class debut for Kerala in the 2011–12 Ranji Trophy and soon established himself as a consistent performer. His standout performance came in the 2019–20 Vijay Hazare Trophy when he scored an unbeaten 212, becoming only the sixth Indian to score a double-century in List A cricket.
Sanju Samson’s prowess in domestic cricket earned him a spot in the Indian Premier League (IPL). He began his IPL journey with the Rajasthan Royals in 2013 and made an instant impact by scoring a half-century in just his second match, becoming the youngest player in IPL history to do so at that time.
Throughout his IPL career, which also included stints with the Delhi Capitals, Sanju consistently delivered remarkable performances, scoring centuries and leading his teams with finesse. His captaincy skills were recognized in 2021 when he was named the captain of the Rajasthan Royals.
Sanju’s journey to the Indian national team had its ups and downs. He made his T20 international debut against Zimbabwe in 2015 but faced challenges in securing a regular spot. After a hiatus, he made his return to the Indian team in 2019, representing India in T20Is and ODIs. Although he experienced a stop-start international career, his performances in domestic cricket kept him in the selectors’ radar.
In recent years, Sanju’s international career has seen a resurgence, with notable performances in T20Is and ODIs, including scoring his maiden ODI half-century. His contributions with the bat and behind the stumps have made him a valuable asset to the Indian cricket team.
Sanju Samson’s journey from the beaches of Kerala to the international cricket arena is a testament to his talent, determination, and perseverance. As he continues to make his mark in domestic and international cricket, fans eagerly await his electrifying performances and visionary captaincy. Sanju Samson is undoubtedly a bright star on the horizon of Indian cricket, poised to shine even brighter in the years to come.