India fast bowler Varun Aaron has urged young campus cricketers, competing in the Red Bull Campus Cricket World finals in Dehradun, to believe in their abilities and remain focused, in order to realise their dreams of making the senior-national squad in the future.
The 25-year-old has struggled with injuries in his short career thus far. He has 35 Twenty20 wickets from 38 matches at an economy-rate of 8.
"It's extremely important to enjoy the game," Aaron said. "Believe in yourself and if you think you are cut out for the tough cricketing world, if you know that cricket is your passion, then definitely pursue it in spite of the hardships. I have seen a lot of young talent in my school and college go down the drain due to lack of self-belief and direction. If you are certain of your talent and abilities, don't let it go to waste.
"The format is a great way for young college students to play the game they love. T20 has attracted a lot of young players and it is a great platform for students. Many guys who come from families that are unable to support their dreams can actually come into light with T20. KL Rahul, for instance, played Red Bull Campus Cricket which was a big boost for his career. It presented him with a wonderful opportunity to fulfil his dream and now he is scoring hundreds for India."
Dehradun is hosting eight of the top campus-cricket teams from around the world in the World Finals, which is being played at the Abhimanyu Cricket Academy from October 19 to 24.
Teams from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, England, South Africa, Australia and UAE are competing in the annual T20 competition. The participating teams have qualified for the finals after winning their respective national tournaments.
"The format is fast and a game ends in a span of four hours. It is important to believe in yourself and give your 100 percent," Aaron said.
"All three formats are different and require different skill sets. While T20 is great, Test cricket is the ultimate form of cricket and a lot of hard work and effort has to be put in to succeed at that level."
The latest edition will be the first time UAE will participate in the tournament, having replaced West Indies in the line-up.
Red Bull Campus Cricket started in 2012 with the aim of finding the best cricketing talents from colleges around the world. This initiative has been started with the aim of funnelling the best grassroot cricketers and preparing them for the bigger stage.