Name: Chetan Sakariya

Born: 28 February, 1998 in Vartej Gujarat

Chetan Sakariya’s journey to professional cricket started in the domestic circuit, representing Saurashtra in various formats. He made his international debut in 2021 and has played for various teams including Saurashtra, Rajasthan Royals, India, Delhi Capitals and West Zone. He honed his skills as a left-arm pace bowler under the guidance of coach Naresh Vaghela at the academy Mavji Krishna Govindji Academy in Vartej.

Born into a family facing financial constraints, Sakariya's desire to play cricket clashed with his parents' vision of stability. In an era before the IPL, cricket was seen as inaccessible to those without connections. His father, Kanjibai, a tempo driver, believed cricket was a sport for the wealthy and encouraged academic pursuits, especially engineering.

Sakariya's breakthrough came when he caught the eye of Rajendra Gohil, coach at the Sir Bhavsinhji Cricket Academy, with his performances in a district tournament for his school.

Impressed by Sakariya's talent, Gohil wasted no time in inviting him to join the academy. Soon after, Sakariya was selected for the Saurashtra U-16s, although he didn't get a chance to play initially.

Sakariya's performances at the academy level earned him a spot in the Gujarat Under-19 team for the 2016-17 season. He made his youth ODI debut for Gujarat against Maharashtra in October 2016, claiming figures of 2/47.

However, a year later, Sakariya's career hit a roadblock when he suffered a gluteal injury at the age of 17. Despite the pain, he continued to bowl, unaware of the severity of his injury. Over time, his pace dropped, and he faced challenges with his bowling action.

Lacking awareness of rehabilitation techniques, Sakariya endured a lengthy recovery period of 7-8 months, during which he was unable to play any cricket. However, slowly but steadily, he resumed playing. His breakthrough came in the Cooch Behar Trophy, where his performances caught the attention of senior cricketer Sheldon Jackson.

Jackson's challenge to dismiss him in the nets earned Sakariya his first pair of shoes and helped him attend the MRF Pace Foundation. He impressed with his pace and found himself on the domestic team. He made his debut in domestic cricket and shone in the 2018 Ranji Trophy season and picked up a five-wicket haul in the first innings.

In the 2017-18 season, Sakariya continued his rise through the ranks, representing Gujarat in the Under-23 tournaments. He consistently took wickets and caught the attention of the state selectors. In the Under-23 tournament, he finished as the highest wicket-taker for Gujarat, claiming 27 wickets.

Sakariya's domestic debut for Gujarat came in the 2018-19 Vijay Hazare Trophy. In his List A debut against Goa, he picked up 3 wickets for 35 runs. Over the next few seasons, he became a regular in Gujarat's Limited-overs squads across formats.

The 2020-21 season proved to be a breakthrough year for Sakariya in domestic cricket. In the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (domestic T20 tournament), he finished as the highest wicket-taker for Gujarat, claiming 16 wickets in 7 matches at an economy rate of 6.74. This put him closer to national selection.

Sakariya's performances in the 2020-21 domestic season earned him an IPL contract with Rajasthan Royals for the 2021 season at a base price of 20 lakhs. He made his IPL debut against Punjab Kings on April 12, 2021, claiming figures of 3/31 from his 4 overs.

Sakariya made his ODI and T20I debuts on the tour of Sri Lanka in 2021. 

In his debut IPL season in 2021 for Rajasthan, Sakariya picked up 7 wickets in as many matches at an economy of 8.22. He impressed with his ability to swing the new ball and his control over line and length.

Retained by Rajasthan for IPL 2022, Sakariya had a more successful season, claiming 14 wickets in 11 matches at an economy of 8.11. His best figures of 2/17 came against Lucknow Super Giants.

The 2022 season also saw Sakariya make his first-class debut for Gujarat in the Ranji Trophy. In his debut match against Goa, he took 4 wickets in the first innings and finished with match figures of 5/94. In the same year, he was bought by Delhi but did not get that many games in the Indian T20 League. He was picked by Delhi again for the 2023 season. In 3 T20I matches for India so far, he has taken 2 wickets at an economy of 8.66, with best figures of 1/28.

The 2023 IPL season was another fruitful one for Sakariya with Rajasthan. He picked up 18 wickets in 15 matches at an economy of 8.61, with his best figures being 3/23 against Lucknow Super Giants. His consistent performances helped Rajasthan reach the finals.

In the ongoing 2024 IPL season for Rajasthan so far, Sakariya has claimed 9 wickets in 8 matches at an economy of 8.35. He continues to be a vital cog in the team's bowling attack. He has been picked up by Kolkata for the 2024 edition of the Indian T20 League and he will be hoping to get a few games under his belt.

Overall, in his IPL career spanning 4 seasons so far, Sakariya has taken 48 wickets in 39 matches at an economy of 8.33, with his best figures being 3/23.


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