Cricket, often synonymous to passion, has been an indispensable part of life for many. There’s no dearth of articles on why one should pursue their passion. Some author, like Mark Manson, say it is not really about you dreaming but much more about you enjoying the process and the hard yards needed to get there. Cricket in India is not only played in vast grounds but also in the narrow balconies, on the streets and in the hearts of billion plus people. Children idolize cricketers and each child dreams of being the next legend in the world of cricket.
One such aspiring young heart grew up in the city of Kolkata. Having born into a business family. Viraj grew up with a passion for cricket from a very tender age. His icon has and always been Sourav Ganguly. He idolised and hero worshipped Sourav dada and also bats left-handed like his idol. Though the seeds of passion for cricket was sowed by his father who used to play cricket in Kanpur, it was Viraj who started working towards it.
Receiving his education from La Martiniere for Boys school of Kolkata, Viraj achieved Major Colours (Excellence in Sports) for his immense contribution to cricket in school.
And under the able guidance of Ashok Malhotra, Viraj gradually started excelling in cricket.
Playing alongside Abhimanyu Easwaran Viraj played for the state under 16 championship, and bagged the winner tag for two consecutive years (2011-2012) with a score of 81 in the 1st final and 97 in the second, respectively.
With an interest in cricket, Viraj boarded the flight to England where he pursued a course in Sports management and also played cricket.
Being the captain of Lancaster University 1st XI, he was responsible for escalating the university’s position from BUCS Div 2A to Div 1A.
Currently a member, and the highest run maker of the Tunbridge wells CC 1st XI Viraj is playing in the Kent premier league. Highest scorer in the last two years.
Amongst his other achievements, he also represented Morecambe CC 1st 11 in the Northern Premiere league from 2015 – 2017. (Ravi Shastri, Indian Cricket Coach, also played for Morecambe Cricket Club initially in England)
Just 24 years of age, he is receiving praises from eminent personalities.
Dilip Vengsarkar- Former Indian Cricketer said ” Whatever I have seen of the left -handed Viraj Bhatia, he seems to be a promising batsman. Being the captain of the Lancaster University, he was quite a prolific scorer and did well for his team. I wish him all the best for his future matches and I’m sure he will be an asset to the teams he would play for in future”.
Mr Farook Engineer- Former Indian Cricketer said ” In my humble opinion Viraj is a very talented young cricketer who has done very well in representative matches at club and university level. Both Dilip Vengsarkar and I feel that Viraj definitely has the talent to start of playing for a state. Good luck Viraj we will be following your progress”
R P SINGH – Former Indian Cricketer said “Viraj is a highly talented left-handed batsman with a very sound basics and dynamic range of stroke play in the moulds of modern-day style of cricket. I have been very impressed with Viraj’s talent and work ethics since I came across him a few years ago at Lancaster University and when he was playing in the Northern Premiere League in Lancashire, and this season in Kent Premiere league. Viraj has become a consistent performer and, in my view, given the right platform and opportunities he could be successful at highest level. I wish Viraj all the best In his quest to achieve higher laurels as a top class batsman” – comments Mr RP Singh (Former India International cricketer and ECB high performance level 4 coach).
ASHOK MALHOTRA – Former Indian Cricketer and Viraj’s mentor coach said “Viraj come to my academy as a tiny tot, since then he has moved from strength to strength, first doing well in school cricket in Kolkata and then moving to the UK, where he played brilliantly in Lancaster University and was the Captain of the University which is a rarity. Nowadays he is playing brilliantly in Kent League and is the top scorer there. He has a bright future and is a natural dasher. Will be an asset for any team he plays for. God Bless”
Viraj Bhatia is now looking forward to coming back to India in July this year and would like continue playing the kind of cricket he played in England.