The Rediff interview/ Stuart Binny
They refer to him as Roger Binny's son. Naturally enough, given that father Roger was one of the key members of the Indian team that won the cricket World Cup in 1983.
But Stuart Binny, part of the squad that will take part in the Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand later this month, is well on the way to carving out an identity of his own. "I am to do the best I can, in the competition," says the youngster.
In cricketing terms, he is the mirror image of his father: Stuart Binny bowls seam, either with the new ball or as first change, he is a useful middle-order batsman, and an athletic fielder. In the 1983 World Cup, Roger Binny went into the tournament with precisely these gifts -- and in seam friendly conditions akin to what Stuart will find in New Zealand, ended the tournament as the leading wicket-taker.
Stuart's interest in cricket was fostered in the coaching academy his father runs, when he was ten years old. He went on to participate in Under-14 and Under-15 tournaments, and when he realised that he was getting to be quite good at it, took to the game full-time.
Living under the shadow of his famous father doesn't bother the class 12 student of St Joseph's College, Bangalore, who last year formed part of the Under-17 squad that won the Asia Cup in Dhaka. Having managed to attend only 12 days of classes this year, however, does.
"Cricket keeps me away from classes, and home, for long periods at a time," says Stuart, confessing that he does have his moments of homesickness, of insecurity. "But talking to friends and family helps, it is a sacrifice I have to make, because I love cricket."
Having spent close to three months with his teammates, including 20 days recently in Bangalore at the cricket academy, Stuart believes that the team is well on its way to jelling as a unit. “We know each other's strengths and weaknesses, and I am pretty confident we are going to win,” says the youngster.
Photograph: Jewella C Miranda
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