Lungi Ngidi, South Africa speedster fondly shared his childhood days and he shared that life wasn’t always a bed of roses. He is one of the vital cogs for the Proteas across formats.
“I was aware from a very young age obviously that my parents weren’t as well off as other families but we did make ends meet. But I never put them under any pressure to provide things that was outside of their comfort zone and range. I was okay with that,” Lungi Ngidi said to PTI.
He recalled how his classmates’ parents used to help him out with cricket gears as he took the admition on a sports scholarship.
“It was a bit of a struggle at the start but I had a lot of people who were willing to help out as my parents couldn’t afford kits and stuff like that. The school that I went to, a lot of parents with whose kids I played with, would pitch in with batting pads or bats. To this day, I haven’t forgotten them. I still thank them for the opportunities that they gave me,” Ngidi said.
Like Kagiso Rabada, he is also a black-Africans, but unlike Ngidi, Rabada came from a privileged family. However, they both now play for the national team.
“KG (Rabada) and I did play a lot of school cricket together. Come to think of it, it’s pretty awesome to come out to the international scene and play together. We get along very well and that relationship makes it a lot easier on the field in terms of communicating as well,” Ngidi said.
“Once you are playing cricket on the field, everyone is pretty equal. The only thing that matters is your talent. Your financial background plays no role in how you hold a bat or a ball. For me, that was one of the main things why I loved cricket. It didn’t define who I was as a person (socially or financially), and you know talent plays a massive role and we can see what a great player KG is. As far as I am concerned, I never let that hamper my progress,” expressed Ngidi.
Although he couldn’t play last year’s IPL due to injury, he would love to return at CSK squad.
“If the opportunity is there to go back, I would love to go back. I enjoyed my time at the CSK. Lot of fans sent me a lot of messages during the time I wasn’t playing for them. I would like to say thank you to them,” he said.
When he was asked about the Bollywood song ‘Lungi Dance’ which was featured Shah Rukh Khan and Ngidi started laughing.
“I am very familiar with the song when I played for the CSK. They used to play it a lot when I would be at the ground. The song has in fact grown on me and it’s something that I cherish,” he said. “I have seen the music video of the song and I saw him (SRK) in the music video as well. It’s a bit of clash there since he is KKR. It’s still a good song nevertheless.”
He also shared the stories of 1995 Rugby World Cup-winning Springboks team which inspires him as well.
“Growing up and hearing about the Springboks (1995 World Champion team) was an inspiration. My parents were able to tell me stories about how great the feeling was. So you know, one thing I would also want to create for South Africa, if we win it one year. I want to bring those feelings back, bring those emotions back, bring the country closer, I want to experience it as a player,” he concluded.