Yash, an aggressive middle-order batsman, says: “Bas hi kare karna hoon (I am just starting out)”. He has been leading Delhi since his U-16 days and feels that “if I keep playing honestly, I will reach some good level”.
Father Vijay Dhulli, who is now an executive with a cosmetic brand, says: “If you want your son to pursue a career in cricket in a city like Delhi then you have to make some compromises. I had to make sure that I got Yash. Given enough time so that he stays focused. And doesn’t stray. My career was secondary. So, I quit my regular job”.
Grandfather’s pension helped run the Under-19 captain’s house
Yash’s desire and ambition to become a cricketer was non-negotiable for the Dhul family. “I don’t remember much but when I was very young my family had to go through hard times to support me,” he says.
Father Vijay adds: “I had to make sure he got the best kit and gear to play from an early age. I gave him the best English willow bats. He didn’t just have a bat, I kept upgrading him. We had cut our expenses. My father was a soldier. The pension he received was used to run the household. Yash always wondered how we were managing it.”
Yash says that cricket has always been his way of life. He spends the whole day watching cricket on TV or on his phone. He has no role model. “Anyone who plays at the international level is good enough to learn from it. I follow everyone’s game closely. I don’t copy anyone, but everyone is my hero,” he says.
The family was always involved in making Yash a cricketer. Vijay says that it was his wife who noticed the four-year-old’s understanding of the ball and interest in cricket. Then parents and grandfather realized that the boy could be made a cricketer.
He was taken to a local academy Bharti College at a tender age before leaving Bal Bhavan School’s academy when he was 11 years old. At the age of 12, Yash represented Delhi in Under-14. The family realized that he was on the right track and that academics could safely retreat.
The match-saving 185 not out against Punjab in an Under-16 match gave Yash the confidence that he could prosper at the highest level of cricket.
Vijay used to give him throwdowns after hours of regular practice. And that habit came to Yash’s aid when the pandemic struck last year. Vijay decides to put a net on his roof. “He used to talk to his coach Rajesh Nagar on the phone and share videos. I used to go to an academy as a child. I know the basics of training. I used to give him exercises in the roof-net. We worked on that. Was. Shot inside-out at cover. He plays it with ease now,” says Vijay.
As Yash India gears up to join U-19 camp NCA From today in Bangalore, the thought came in the minds of his family members that the journey has just begun. “We don’t talk about cricket at home after their practice hours,” says Vijay. But we have told them to stay in the field. So many players play under-19 cricket and then they disappear.
Yash is entering the fast lane. He will be made aware of the best facilities and opportunities. Still, he knows this is just the beginning of a journey.
Meet Yash Dhulli
right handed middle order bat
Played Delhi Under-14 at the age of 12
Captain Delhi Under-16s
Captain Delhi Under-19s
Recently captained India Under-19 ‘A’ in Challenger Trophy