Mar 08, 2008 at 01:48am IST

Praveen adds one more feather in Meerut's cap

Meerut: Meerut is a city with a history, known to the country as the starting point of the First War of Independence in 1857.

Now along with Mangal Pandey and the famously yummy Meerut ka gajak (a sweet dish), the city can now boast of another outstanding product - the Man of the match of the second final of the Commonwealth Bank Series Praveen Kumar.

And everyone in Meerut knows where Praveen Kumar lives.

In Praveen's home, the new neighbourhood champion is trying hard to avoid the media glare. But the seemingly diffident youngster knows how to speak his mind.

"Anything is possible for someone who works hard. All this is the result of hard work," Praveen says.

The street outside Praveen's house, meanwhile, is attracting not just last-minute cosmetic development, but a growing crowd of admirers.

The sports goods market in Surajkund Road in Meerut; Praveen's newfound fame is both good news and good business.

"If a player from Meerut plays international matches then it is good for us. We can sell more cricket gears," a sports shop owner says.

Praveen himself hasn't forgotten where it all began. At his cricketing alma mater, Victoria Park, Meerut's new hero took time out to give some tips to aspiring cricketers.

It's too early to say if sportspersons like Praveen Kumar will change the face of Meerut but one thing is certain, the likes him will not only make youngsters take up the sports but will also make them go that extra mile to make it big in the sporting world.

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