Rajkot: For the last four days, Harsh Kheradiya, 17, has been sleeping for only four to five hours a day. The Class XI Commerce student was not busy preparing for his exams but racing against time to finish the sketches of his favourite Indian cricketers.
Excited at the prospect of the superstar cricketers descending upon his city for the second ODI against Australia, Kheradiya prepared pencil sketches of Virat Kohli [one with his mother and another with his wife Anushka], Ravindra Jadeja, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan and headed to the airport in the hope that he would be able to get autographs of his idols. However, tight security at the airport meant that he couldn’t meet the players.
Kheradiya then parked himself outside the team hotel since Wednesday. On Thursday, he managed to get inside the stadium, which is a good 15 kms away from the city, but there too, luck deserted him.
“I tried very hard to get them [sketches] signed from Kohli sir but the security did not allow me to even get close to him. I am not disappointed because I still have another day to try. I will again wait outside the team hotel. I’ll be very grateful if I can get my sketches autographed. It will be a treasured collection,” Kheradiya told mid-day on the sidelines of Team India’s practice session on Thursday.
Kheradiya has previously made sketches of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, actor Amitabh Bachchan and Maratha warrior Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj among others. “I began sketching in Class IX and learnt from my elder brother. He has stopped doing it now but I am very passionate about it,” said Kheradia.