Rajesh Aims for Bundesliga

Rajesh became the T20 vice captain of the Sharks in the season 2024. He plays as an allrounder for the Sharks. He is a middle order batsman and a deceiving medium fast bowler. The Sharks have done quite well so far in the BWCV Regionalliga 2024. In an interview with Rohit Bohara, Rajesh made quite clear that the Sharks are aiming for top spot in the league and will qualify for the Bundesliga.

What is your first memory of cricket? When did you start playing club cricket?
My first vivid memory of cricket is from the 1996 Cricket World Cup held in India. I was particularly struck by the passion and excitement of the tournament, even though India lost in the semi-final against Sri Lanka. This event sparked my love for the game. I began playing club cricket during my Pre-University Course (PUC) years in Bengaluru. During this time, I represented Jain College and later went on to compete in VTU tournaments and played for the Bosch cricket team.

How long have you been associated with TSV Malmsheim Cricket? How did it all start?
I have been associated with TSV Malmsheim Cricket since 2019. The team is a merger of three tennis ball teams: Vaihingen Falcons, Böblingen Bros, and Goldberg Ravens. I was originally part of the Vaihingen Falcons. This merger brought together a diverse and talented group of players, laying the foundation for our current club.

You are vice-captain of the TSVM Sharks this season. How are you handling your new role? Does it have any effect on your personal game?
Yes, I am the vice-captain for the TSVM Sharks in the T20 format. Taking on this leadership role has been both challenging and rewarding. It involves a lot of strategizing before the game, maintaining fitness, and being flexible in decision making during the game. Personally, this role has added more responsibility, but I believe it will bring the best out of me. It pushes me to perform consistently and set a positive example for the team.

Last season, The Sharks played well but unfortunately could not qualify for the Bundesliga. What do you think about the performance so far this season, and will you make it to the Bundesliga this year?
Last season, we had a strong performance in the T20s but fell short in the semi-finals. We have taken valuable lessons from that experience and have been working to rectify our mistakes this year. Currently, in the BWCV Regionalliga 2024, we are table toppers. The team has performed remarkably well, and the match winners have taken the responsibility both with the bat and ball. With this momentum, we are optimistic about our chances of qualifying for the Bundesliga this year.

What role does management play in team selection and game strategy?
As a semi-professional setup, most of our players have professional careers outside of cricket. The team management plays a crucial role in motivating the players, checking for their availability, and supporting the club with skilled players. They are also actively involved in scouting new talent in the region, ensuring that we have a strong and capable squad.

What do you enjoy more, batting, bowling, or captaining?
I have always considered myself a bowling all-rounder, but I am a team player at heart and happy to take on any role that benefits the team. Being with the club since the beginning, I understand the capabilities of our players well. I enjoy doing what is right for the club, whether it’s planning off the field or making decisions on the field during the game.

TSVM Sharks have had a successful campaign in the BWCV Regionalliga 2024. They decimated their opponents 5 times out of 6 this season. They have strong net runrate of 2.9687. Their continuous performance in the league will definitely secure a spot in the Bundesliga.