Pappu Roy, the 23-year-old has been selected to represent the India C squad led by Ajinkya Rahane for the Deodhar Trophy but it has been heart-wrenching journey for the Bihari boy, who lost his parents even before he could say “Mummy Papa”.
Son of Bihari couple, who migrated to Bengal for greener pastures, Pappu lost his parents Jamdar Roy and Parvati Devi when he was an infant. It was his uncle and aunt, who took care of him.
He had initially started off as a pacer but it was Howrah Union Cricket Academy coach Sujit Saha who advised him to take up left-arm spin bowling. Pappu Roy was the highest wicket-taker in CAB’s second division league in 2011 when he got 50 wickets in nine matches for Dalhousie.
However, with Iresh Saxena playing for Bengal at that point of time and later Pragyan Ojha coming in, Roy didn’t find a place in the Bengal team. Club cricket in Kolkata is only lucrative for a select band of cricketers playing for the big clubs and Roy’s next destination was neighbouring state of Odisha.
In search of food and shelter, his next stop became Jajpur, about 100 kilometres northeast of Bhubaneshwar. It was in 2015 that he first got a “break” in the form of entry into the Odisha U-23 team.
Within three years, Pappu Roy made his senior team debut in List A cricket getting 14 wickets from eight group league games for Odisha. So Bengal’s loss was Odisha’s gain.