Subrahmanya: Although the young cricketer’s early family roots were not from Dakshina Kannada, Rahul takes pride in having been born in Mangaluru 23 years ago.
He considers himself an essentially Tulunadu boy and a Mangaluru product. That is Kannur Lokesh Rahul for you.
As coincidence would have it, the ancestral domicile of Kannur in hinterland Karnataka matches the name of a suburb of our city.
For decades, Mangaluru or the undivided DK district has had no representation in the national-level game. Mulki-born Budhisagar Krishnappa Kunderan (1939-2006) shone in test cricket in the 1960s. Bellippadi Chandrahas Alva (1923-1982) had played three unofficial test matches.
N N Suvarna (…-1969) and Dayanand Kamath (1943-2011) were among many others who made it to the national level cricket. After decades, we have Rahul to represent the district in the national side.
Rahul’s father K N Lokesh is a professor of Civil Engineering at the National Institute of Technology Karnataka (NITK) in Srinivasnagar near Suratkal, Mangaluru.
His mother Rajeshwari is an associate professor in an undergraduate college at Mangaluru University. They have been living in their adoptive city for about three decades.
Prof Lokesh has always been a great fan of Sunil Gavaskar. As a mark of tribute to the great cricketing legend, he is said to have wanted to name his own son after Gavaskar’s son.
The name Rahul was mistakenly taken in the place of Rohan. Maybe destiny wanted K L Rahul or Lokesh Rahul to have his own identity.
As he has been doing every year, the dashing player paid a visit to Kukke Subrahmanya on Sunday, March 27 and offered obeisance to the ruling deity, while also offering Ashlesha Bali and Nag Pratishtha rituals.
Speaking to mediapersons, Rahul said that he had imbibed the virtues of hard work and dedication from Tulunadu. For long he had this dream of playing in national and international cricket. He offered prayers for further laurels in cricket, he added.
Regular practice has paid rich dividends in the form of well-earned recognition, beginning with Ranji Trophy level. Having proved his proficiency and prowess, he was picked up for Team India. His century in Australia put a stamp of quality on his career.
He is ever grateful to his mentors and well-wishers for the support and encouragement he received on his path towards excellence. He beams with satisfaction that he could make the best use of the opportunity he got.
He looks forward to more opportunities to prove his worth. His further dream is to fetch a place in India’s T20 and ODI teams. He also aspires to shine in every department of the game.
Having played for the Sunrisers’ side in the IPL in the earlier edition, he feels happy to have been picked by the Royal Challengers Bengaluru this year.
He was all praise for captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni whose leadership inspired and encouraged others.
by Richard Lasrado