In Hull’s year as City of Culture, the 70th Anniversary of Independence in India, and England hosting the ICC Champions Trophy, Cricket World met up with the Pathak family, in Hull, earlier in the summer to hear their fascinating story. Hull, a relative cricketing backwater has hosted several of India’s finest cricketers over the last 30 years.
This unique series of videos chronologically describes an Anglo-Indian relationship celebrating a family’s passion for cricket, medicine and helping people over an amazing 40 year period.
Ashok Pathak and his son Samir both studied medicine to become surgeons and both played cricket to a high level when they were younger. Ashok in India and his son Samir in England.
The videos describe Ashok’s early years in India as a budding cricketer (Ranji Trophy for Bihar 1972-74) and then, settling in Hull, in the North East of England, in the 1970s, as a Junior Doctor, talking about his passion for cricket and medicine and what it was has been like living and working in the NHS, in Britain, for over 40 years.
He talks about the unique Anglo Indian relationship created through cricket and medicine and about the enormous number of doctors and nurses that he has assisted in training in India and those that have come over to Britain, to work and train in the NHS.
Ashok then speaks about how he assisted with highlighting the disaster of the Kosi River Floods in 2010 in India (and how lucky we are in Britain to have such great Emergency Services!) and finally he ecalls what an honour it was to be awarded an MBE for services to Medicine, in both India and Britain, and for his charitable work.
As an aside, during the interview with Ashok, I sensed that, with a twinkle in his eye, he has always wondered ‘what might have been’ in his cricket career had he not gone into medicine?
Then we talked with his son Samir who speaks fondly about growing up in Hull and following his father into medicine, in England, and how he is now developing and continuing a relationship with cricket and medicine both in the UK and in India. Samir talks briefly regarding his own cricketing career in his younger years and elaborates on the Cricket Charity he has established to benefit underprivileged cricketers- Cricket Beyond Boundaries
Samir also spoke of the role Cricket can play in raising awareness around several health issues and the wider impact sport can have on society. He then discusses future plans of utilising cricket to raise health profiles in certain sectors.
Since its formation in 2011, Cricket Beyond Boundaries (CBB) has now brought 20 underprivileged cricketers over to the UK from India to spend time in leading schools and develop their cricket and life skills.
These talented young cricketers have come from different areas of India and as the programme grows,our or five more boys are heading over this summer with more schools becoming involved.
The initiatives’ long-term goals are to extend help to poor young cricketers in the UK and enable them to complete their education, be able to support female cricketers and also cricketers with disabilities. They also want to expand their work to include all cricket playing nations
a) Ashwin’s GENNEXT Academy (Chennai)
b) Vengsarkar’s Cricket Academy in Mumbai/Pune
c) Chembur Children’s Home, where Kukreja coaches orphan cricketers in his spare time.
2012: Prithvi Shaw, Sarfaraz Khan (both Mumbai), Nitin Tanwar (Delhi), Akshay Bharambhatt (Baroda)
2013: Khizar Dafedar (Mumbai), Shivam Chauhan, Vikas Dixit (both Delhi), Paranjul Puri (Madhya Pradesh)
2014: Prithvi Shaw (Mumbai), Harshvardhan Patil (Pune), Ramakrishnan Natarajan (Chennai), Vikas Dexit (Delhi)
2015: Rupesh Barode, Hashir Dafedar (both Mumbai), Divya Prakesh (Chennai)
2016: Nitish Joyal (Chennai), Rupesh Barode, Pradeep Das (both Mumbai), Saurabh Nawale (Pune)
2017: Rupeh Barode, Prajwal Pansare (both Mumbai), Aman Mulla (Pune), AK Rasheed (Hyderabad), Vikram Lakshminarasimhan (Chennai)
Durham School 2017 – interviews with players and CBB youngsters