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From cricket to volleyball: Leap of faith sends Angamuthu to ultimate glory

Kochi, March 7 (IANS) Angamuthu Ramaswamy who? Not many had heard of this star player, who plays as a Universal for the Ahmedabad Defenders in the PVL, before the 28-year-old athlete decided to pursue a career in Volleyball leaving behind his first love i.e cricket.

Angamuthu left cricket to play volleyball at the age of 19. It was the most difficult decision to make as most of the athletes of his age were booming in their careers while Angamuthu had just stepped into a sport he had no idea of.

Angamuthu, who raised the bar for attackers in the Prime Volleyball League due to his height (205 cm), took up volleyball as one of his seniors advised him to play the sport since he had a good height.

“I played cricket as a hobby but my coach said that you have a good ability to bowl well, you should play professionally. So I started playing professionally and then I played for school nationals,” a cheerful Angamuthu told IANS as he went into a flashback to describe things in a more lucid way.

“I wanted to pursue Aero Space Engineering, I used to study well till 12th. I was serious about cricket and my goal was to continue playing cricket besides my studies.”

“There was a Volleyball tournament happening near SRM University and a senior from SRM University came and said ‘you have a good height, in cricket, it is so difficult to play for India and opportunities are less, in volleyball, it is not like that.’ He said I can learn easily due to my height and then I asked my father, and my father supported me to play volleyball,” Angamuthu further said.

On Sunday, Angamuthu helped Ahmedabad Defenders go a step further and clinch the trophy in the second season of Prime Volleyball League with a 15-7, 15-10, 18-20, 13-15, 15-10 win over the Bengaluru Torpedoes at the Regional Sports Centre, Kochi.

After dominating the show in the semi-finals, Angamuthu was again adjudged the Player of the Match for his exuberant performance in the summit clash.

However, the journey from not knowing Volleyball to becoming a mainstay and helping his team experience the ultimate glory was not a bed of roses for Angamuthu.

“Learning volleyball at the age of 19, when most guys were already playing the game professionally, had its own repercussions. For example, I didn’t know how to start learning the game from the basics and how to manage tough times. So that is what I lost, having started learning volleyball after growing up,” with a determination on his face, Angamuthu continued describing his journey.

“I’m so stubborn about overcoming the situations and to get experience, I just concentrated on my game and practiced it regularly. I took the guidance of my seniors like what to do and what not do,” he added.

At the age of 21, Angamuthu had an injury in his knee. He was blank at the time, but with the constant support of coaches and teammates, he was able to recover. The star player then represented Indian Railways in the nationals and has been working as Senior Clerk in the organisation.

“When I got injured, I was completely on bed rest, post my injury, after recovering, I represented Indian Railways in the nationals. I used to think, of myself as a Tiger, because whenever the Tiger got set back, he came back with a greater force, so I used to say to my ‘nothing can stop me’,” said Angamuthu.

Despite going through a purple patch, Angamuthu has not played for India. The 28-year-old athlete loves writing screenplays for movies in his free time. He also likes to spend time with his family and he is happy with his decision to leave cricket and play volleyball.

“I got a chance to be in the camp in 2018 but I didn’t get any chance to represent India till now. Before my village, people knew ok but after watching me on TV, they recognise me. That’s happening because of PVL. Volleyball has given me things (fame) which I couldn’t have imagined,” he signs off.



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