During the summer of 2010, when I saw the results from the New York leagues every week, one name popping up – Prashant Nair! At the age of 17, Prashant was playing for the Atlantis Cricket Club and devastating league teams with his leg-spin bowling. In one game he took 8 wickets for 16 runs off 5.3 overs!
It’s no surprise then to see Prashant included in the squad of 14 USA Under-19 players to play the West Indies Under-19 in Florida in July, and potentially to travel to Ireland for the ICC Under-19 World Cup Qualifiers.
At the end of last season I was invited to the Atlantis Cricket Club Awards Presentation Dinner, and watched Prashant take away almost every award. This season, just before his 18th birthday Prashant was appointed cricket captain of Atlantis CC.
The Atlantis Cricket Club has a 45-year history and includes, as most league teams do, some “elder statesmen” of the game, so for an 18 year-old to take over the reins as captain of a club with such a rich history and tradition is truly a remarkable feat. It also shows the confidence the club’s administration has in the young man. Secretary of USA Cricket John Aaron and NY Regional Chairman Lester Hooper are both members of the Atlantis Executive board.
Prashant said: ”I first started playing cricket when I was nine years-old for a club in India…then made the state’s Under-13 when I was 12…I also played at the Kerala Under-15 level too. I was coached by BCCI level coaches when I was in India…then when I came to America at age 15, I was lucky to be coached by one of the best coaches in this country, Coach Linden Fraser.”
Nair has also played in the NYPD league, “God willing, I hope I will be there in the final 14 man squad to go to Ireland for the ICC Global Qualifiers,” he said.
The pre-college student added, “I’m also really looking forward to playing cricket at City College, where I will be studying mechanical engineering.” One of the reasons he picked City College is because last fall the school joined American College Cricket and played in the Northeast Championship, “It will be great for me, and I am sure it will help my cricketing career.” Nair added, “American College Cricket has given great opportunities for young cricketers in this country.”
John Aaron tells the story of how one day while out of town, he called Prashant at the end of an Atlantis game to find Atlantis had crushed their opponents. When he heard that Prashant, one of Atlantis’ best bowlers, had not bowled, John asked, “How come?” Prashant replied that the other bowlers were doing the job (getting wickets) so he thought it best to let them continue. It simply shows how unselfish the young man can be.
“Atlantis is doing a great job as a team, and we are undefeated in the Eastern American Cricket Association league so far,” Prashant informed us. Not surprisingly his favorite bowler is Shane Warne, and his favorite batsman and cricketer is Sachin Tendulkar.”Cricket is my passion, and playing consistently at a high level is my goal.”
Prashant Nair likes hip hop, R n B and Indian music, and likes watching comedies and sports movies -whilst his good looks and earing have caught the eyes of a few young women at his school.
A polite and respectful young man, he lives in Coney Island, Brooklyn with his parents and a sister.
On July 12, playing in his 3rd game for the USA, against the West Indies Under 19 Team Prashant Nair took 5 wickets for 57 runs in 10 overs. A bright spot for the seriously over-matched USA Under 19 team.