Surat: The last day of this month will be special for Bhargav Merai. No, the 20-year-old cricketer from Surat does not turn a year older on May 31 but, that day, he will get to meet his childhood hero, Sachin Tendulkar.
On Saturday, the right-handed batsman, who plundered 675 runs in the 2009-10 season, was named the best Under-19 cricketer in the country for 2009-10 by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). Merai will be awarded the MA Chidambaram trophy and a cheque of Rs 50,000 on May 31 at the fourth annual BCCI awards ceremony in Mumbai. At the same function, Sachin Tendulkar will receive the prestigious Polly Umrigar award for best cricketer, and the entire World Cup winning team will also be felicitated.
"I did not know that Sachin Tendulkar, too, had been chosen for the award. I am thrilled to be named as the best U-19 cricketer by my happiness has doubled now. The fact that I will be in the same arena as Sachin is unbelievable," said Bhargav. He rates his knock of 212 against West Bengal as his best as it helped Gujarat win by an innings and 10 runs.
He was the leading scorer in the 2009-10 Cooch Behar trophy tournament, notching up 675 runs in five matches with the help of 3 centuries and two fifties at a highly impressive average of 96.42. Had it not been for poor visibility in Delhi in the quarterfinal game, Gujarat would have made it to the semis and Bhargav's run tally would have been higher still. Bhargav scored a composed 155 against Delhi on the latter's ground.