Delhi Daredevils batsman Sanju Samson: “Playing for India is the ultimate dream”

Liam Flint caught up with IPL prodigy and Delhi Daredevils batsman, Sanju Samson, to reflect on his T20 experiences and personal walk with God.

Was pro cricket always the dream for you, or were there other interests that fought for your attention?

Well I think I started playing cricket from the age of 5, so I can’t remember a time when I chose to play the game. It just automatically happened for me, I really enjoy the sport and don’t even see it as a profession.


Could you tell us how you came to know God for yourself?

So I was raised in a Christian household, in India it is normal for people to take after their family and so my mother and father got me involved in a Christian church and it all started from there. It isn’t an issue with the other religions in India and I experience no problems in following Jesus.

What would you be doing if you hadn’t made it as a pro cricketer?

Well when I was younger I also wanted to be a Policeman so if for some reason I had not made it as a cricketer then it would have probably been that instead.


This there are greater pressure on your performance as an Indian cricketer because of the huge support and culture in your country?

I try and just see cricket as a game and enjoy it, yes there is a pressure of playing in India because people here see it as a religion itself but I just stick to playing well and don’t really think about it.


What has been the highlight of your involvement in the IPL so far?

I think for me it was when Rahul Dravid, who was captaining the Rajasthan Royals, offered me a trial. Afterwards he said that he wanted me to come and play for his team so I was so happy and thankful for the chance. That is definitely the best moment of my career so far.


How has knowing God impacted on your cricketing career?

Pretty much everything I have learned from God is through my cricket, I just want to be the best human being that I can be and live well. I want to be a good person and make the most of my ability for him.


Who would you say is the best bowler that you have ever faced and why?

In terms of giving me the most nightmares, I would say Sunil Narine. He has caused me lots of problems with his mystery spin.


Do you have any fellow Christian cricketers that you connect with?

Well JP Duminy was the first player that I really talked to about my faith when he came to play for Delhi but outside of that I don’t really go looking for and find people to talk with. The club that I play for here in India, Kerela, has lots of Christians in the team so that is helpful.


You are already the youngest player to score 1000 runs in the IPL, what are your ambitions for the next few years?

My ambitions are simply to improve and get better as a player, playing for India is the ultimate dream for everyone who plays cricket in this country but that is not in my control. I am just going to focus on becoming a better player and see what happens in the next few years.


What do you like to do in order to relax when you are away from the game?

My favourite things to do are to play football, my dad is a footballer so we often play. I also like to spend time with friends and family whenever I can.


Will Samson be a star of the future?

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