‘Where there is a will, there is a way!’ 

One would have surely heard of this adage. However, it is a young 17-year-old cricket player who is putting it to practice every day in his life. 

Yashasvi Jaiswal, from Bhadohi in Uttar Pradesh, moved to Mumbai with a single dream - to play cricket. There was no godfather, no proper place to stay, no money to afford training in an expensive game like cricket. But he didn't lose heart.

At a tender age of 11 years, this son of a small-time shopkeeper found himself in an unknown city, where his only place of residence was a dairy shop. He would return there after a day of practice to sleep. He was, however, evicted from there, after which he lived in a tent at the Muslim United Club. 

The young boy though refused to submit to fate. He sold pani puri at the Ramleela ground, but never let his dream of playing for his country fade. 

MyNation caught up with this braveheart over the phone to chronicle his journey so far. Yashasvi seemed quite hesitant to talk at first, but as he settled into the conversation, he spoke about his hardships. He spoke about the difficulties he faced while living in a tent. It was miserable with no sanitation and Yashasvi often found himself sleeping on the floor. There was even an instance of an insect biting him near his eye. Add to that the worries of cooking and washing clothes. Yashasvi, though, tried to find the positives amidst despair. 

Yashasvi told MyNation that he would practise in the morning, play matches in the afternoon and then practise again in the evenings. Since he lived in the tent close to the cricket grounds, it was easier for him at times to find matches to play in and polish his skills. 

“Whenever I used to play well, someone would gift me some item of the kit. Say for instance, I scored really good runs, someone would get me a bat, or a shoe or so on. Everyone knew where I lived so it was never an issue. And yes, there were times when I had no clothes, so I asked people and often my teammates for clothes, and everyone helped!”

Indeed for Yashasvi, cricket was his life. The pride in his voice was clearly evident when he spoke of his father playing the game too and his brother being a player in making. It has been his childhood dream to play for the country and it is this dream that has kept him going no matter the hardships that he has faced in his life. 

The young man is very grateful to the Mumbai Cricket Association for giving him a platform to prove himself and th exposure that he required.

Yashasvi also expressed his indebtedness to his coach Satish Samant. It was often Samant who took care of Yashasvi's meals and other needs. But Yashasvi's biggest moment was one that he cannot forget ever. It was when he met Jwala Singh. It was Jwala who recognised the raw talent in Yashasvi and took it upon himself to help the youngster hone his skills. 

The youngster was recently selected in the India Under-19 team for the tour of Sri Lanka. His idols are Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli and he speaks of them with open admiration. 

In times when commercialisation has pervaded every sphere of life and most things are driven by monetary considerations, Yashasvi is in the sport because he loves it. On being asked whether he was hopeful of playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) anytime soon, the young player did not announced in no uncertain terms that his dream was to play for the nation and rest of the things would fall in place. 

Yashasvi's humility and dedication indicates that he is one for the future. A real 'diamond in the rough’ whose story will inspire generations much like his idols inspired him.