• PTI

Daughter first and father now, dealing with twin tragedies, Vishnu Solanki shows nerves of steel

New Delhi, Feb 27 (PTI) Vishnu Solanki is one among hundreds of domestic cricketers who turn up every year in their pristine whites to play the Ranji Trophy with a lot of enthusiasm but less of hope with very little scope of breaking the elite door.


But in the last two weeks, the 29-year-old from Baroda has shown that when it comes to showing nerves of steel in times of tragedy, he is one in a million.



Not many people have the courage to turn up in a first-class game after losing his new born and then score a hundred only to get the news of his father's death and watch the funeral on a video call.


This Vishnu isn't God, he is a mere human, who is dealing with Herculean tragedy.


It was on February 10, Vishnu was blessed with a daughter and with the bliss of fatherhood, he was ready to turn a chapter in his life.


But a day later, the infant died in hospital and Vishnu, who was in a bio-bubble, left for his hometown to attend the funeral when all he wanted was to hold his bundle of joy in his arms and plant that first kiss on her forehead.


Instead, he was performing the last rites as Baroda geared up for their match against Bengal, which he missed.



No one would have mind if Vishnu would have stayed back to be by his wife's side when she needed him the most but for domestic cricketers, Ranji Trophy is one of the primary sources of livelihood and missing matches in a curtailed season is losing out on hard- earned money.


So, before his teammates could gather their thoughts, Vishnu was back in Cuttack for the second round game against Chandigarh, trying hard to forget the tragedy that hit the young man.


He smashed a hundred, perhaps reminded of a Sachin Tendulkar, who was back in Bristol days after his father's death as his mother Rajni didn't want him to forget his national duty.


Not to forget a young Virat Kohl, who scored a 97 and attended his father's last rites.


But here was a man who lost his daughter and then concentrated hard enough to score 103 with 12 boundaries.


One needs a sneak peek at his mindset.



But if that wasn't enough, on the final day of the Ranji match on Sunday, Vishnu got a call from the manager to come inside and was given the news that his ailing father, who has been battling severe illness, has passed away at a hospital in his home town.


"Vishnu had the option of not returning after his daughter's death but the team man that he is, he didn't want to leave his team in the lurch. That's what makes him a special human being," a BCA official told PTI.


The next match starts from March 3 where Baroda meet Hyderabad but one wishes that Vishnu gets some time to grieve. He probably hasn't yet got time to figure out what it is to lose a child and a parent within a space of two weeks.


One doesn't know if Vishnu Solanki will ever wear the India shirt but when it comes to steely temperament, he is right up there.