Team India pace bowler Deepak Chahar backed his decision to skip the ODI series of the South African tour after his father suffered a brain stroke. The speedster was part of the ODI and T20I side for the tour but he withdrew from the 50-over squad, citing personal emergency reasons. The T20I series then ended in a 1-1 draw, followed by the ODIs that saw India win by a 2-1 margin as well.
In an exclusive interview with PTI, Chahar said, “For me, my father comes first. I am here only because of him. Whatever I have achieved is because of my father. If I am not there for him in those situations, then obviously, what kind of son am I? If the series was in India, then I would have surely tried to play. You can come to the hospital if you need within 4-5 hours. But obviously, (from) South Africa it takes 2-3 days to come back.”
He further added: “It was an easy decision to be with my father — any son would do that. I was with my father in the hospital for 25 days. He was not in Agra. He was admitted in Aligarh. We all had to stay there.”
While Deepak Chahar hasn’t played ODIs since December 2022, he played in the penultimate T20I of the home Australian series before the South African tour. However, Deepak Chahar also opined on his motivation to play in the upcoming T20 World Cup at the West Indies and U.S.A. in June. Despite being on the radar for selection in the 2021 and 2022 T20 World Cup squads, the pacer has yet to play in the mega event as well.
“I have missed two (T20) World Cups because of my injuries. If I was fully fit, I would have been a part of the World Cup team as well. In any scenario or (in) any team combination, there is always a requirement for a bowler who can bat at No. 7, 8, 9. I have done that and scored runs for the Indian team,” Deepak Chahar concluded. “I was only able to do some exercises. I was not able to do any cricketing activities. That’s why I was not ready for the Afghanistan series. I had not practised for a month or so. After that I went to the NCA. I started my practice again and now I am fully fit. Everything is good. I trained really hard for the IPL and the World Cup.”