Cricketer Sandeep Warrier is 'very happy' to bask in Aarathy's Asian Games glory

Sandeep Warrier has witnessed his better half Aarathy Kasturi Raj's difficulties over the years, and as her greatest strength and pillar of support, he couldn't be prouder to see the acclaimed roller skating ace earn her maiden Asian Games medal, a team bronze in 3000m relay in Hangzhou. Warrier, a nippy fast medium bowler who plays for Tamil Nadu in local cricket, has played in the IPL and was fortunate enough to play a T20 International during the COVID-19 hit tour of Sri Lanka in 2021, where he went as a net bowler."I'm incredibly proud of her. I'm overjoyed that she's finally arrived. "I've seen her struggle over the last six to seven years, but she hasn't given up and has persevered," Warrier told PTI from Chennai.Aarathy, 29, who began roller skating at the age of five, earned her first Asian Games medal in only her second appearance. This was India's first medal in speed skating.Roller skating made its Asian Games debut in 2010 when Anup Kumar Yama won bronze in the men's single free skating event before partnering with Avani Panchal to finish third in the couples skating event. Aarathy, who is also a doctor and is currently pursuing a postgraduate degree in clinical embryology, may have left up roller skating following a disappointing seventh-place performance at the Asian Games 2018.The uncertainty surrounding the Asian Games, which were postponed by a year due to the pandemic, had also disrupted many people's preparations. In addition, Aarathy had a difficult time tolerating many cuts and bruises on her head in a sport that is prone to injury. But she persisted in her quest for an Asian Games medal."I haven't heard her complain about anything." Most people lose focus and intensity if the Games are postponed. But I've never seen that with her. There has been no drop in intensity, and she would train for more than seven hours every day. "She has been a huge supporter of the Asian Games all along. "I was hoping she'd win in the individual category as well for all of her hard work over the last two years," he remarked.Aarathy finished fifth in the women's speed skating 10000m point-elimination competition on Saturday, moving up two places from her previous Asian Games performance in 2018. Aarathy began skating when she was seven years old, the daughter of a Chennai-based businessman father C Kasturi Raj and a gynaecologist mother Mala Raj."It simply happened to her. Her parents insisted that she participate in some sport, and she tried swimming, badminton, and tennis before settling on skating. "I guess the speed of skating just thrills her," remarked the pacemaker.However, the medium-pacer stated that if "love for speed" was not the common connect, it connected for them quickly after they first met during an event in 2016. Their narrative is that of a "skater-got-bowled" – the name of their Instagram profile – after they "clicked" quickly when Warrier, a Ranji Trophy cricketer at the time, attended to an event at a college in Chennai."I met her in 2016 at an event at her college. She was the college's athletic director. "That's how I met her," Warrier, who married Aarathy in 2019, recalls warmly."It simply happened to us. I was just lucky enough to meet her that day. "The time we spent together then just clicked for us," Warrier, who made his IPL debut with KKR in the 2019 season, added."She works very hard." It was chaotic for her, but she was driven. She will train in the morning, go to college, and then train again. Skating has always been her true passion. "She enjoys skating, which I believe has kept her going," he said."I understand what she has been through in the last few years." More than struggle, I believe her perseverance over the last year and a half has made it possible for her." "We don't discuss each other's sports. We basically chat about training and diets but not about each other's sports." Even for couples that participate in professional sports, it is crucial to give each other space when necessary."We respect each other's space." She like to skate in her own space, and I prefer to play cricket in my own place. She only lately began following cricket, and she is not really fond of it. "However, I keep a close eye on her races and accompany her to all National events," he continued.The Kerala player, who is now working by India Cements, has also relocated to Chennai and has been with Tamil Nadu for four seasons.


Oct 2, 2023 5:42 PM