Alright since Shreyas Iyer is back from an injury and is playing like he never left, here’s me telling you how and when I met him and my experience of meeting one of India’s finest talents. So this happened way back in 2017. As a matter of fact, it was on the same day when I had met R.Ashwin. It was during a Ranji game between Tamil Nadu and Mumbai and to be specific, it was around 15 minutes after I met Ashwin sir.
It was still a pretty surreal moment and I couldn’t process the fact that I met the legendary bowling all-rounder himself. Who would have guessed that I was about to meet another cricketer? So after speaking to Ashwin sir I saw a few people with a mic from the dressing room towards the stadium. Shreyas Iyer was giving an interview to a few BCCI officials. This was somewhere around the time of him getting a maiden Indian call-up for the T20 series against New Zealand in 2017. He was grabbing the headlines back then (Just like today).
I patiently waited for him to finish his interview and as I saw a BCCI official come to me and say “We’re done with the interview, you can now go and meet him.” I was super excited as Iyer was someone I rated very highly and always wanted him to make it large. Just as Iyer approached me I told him that I was a huge admirer of him and how I felt great meeting him. He looked really happy and said “Appreciate the kind words!” I then turned and saw that he was walking towards an empty dressing room as all his teammates were missing. When I asked him about the same he said “My teammates are already in the bus and they’re all waiting for me.” The sudden realization that he was getting late because of me made me feel guilty to which I said “Ooh I’m so sorry sir, I didn’t mean to delay your travel back to the hotel.” He then gave an innocent smile and said “Naah that isn’t an issue, it’s a question of a few minutes anyways.” So after chatting with him for a few minutes about the fact that the two of us actually hail from the same village and have our roots in the same place, I decided that I should end the conversation as he might be getting late. Iyer however seemed pretty chilled and didn’t even show any signs of frustration or annoyance.
It was then when I asked him for a picture and he happily obliged. I then wished him best of luck for his future and told him how I’d love to watch him succeed on the big stage. He was absolutely delighted and as he was walking back I quickly went towards him and said “Also sir, here’s wishing you best of luck for your international debut against NZ” to which he said “Thanks, your wishes really mean a lot to me.”
Another connection we share is the fact that the college where he studied is just a few minutes away from the college where I’m doing my Post Graduation. Anyways, it was an absolute pleasure to have met him and it feels great to see him establish himself and become a big name in the international arena. Call it personal bias but I do have a soft corner for him and I’ll always back him no matter what. It feels so great that the youngster whom I met is now a superstar of the game.