When Rising Pune Supergiant's (RPS) Washington Sundar was wreaking havoc against Mumbai Indians in the first qualifier at the Wankhede Stadium in IPL 2017, two questions were being thrown around on social media. First, why Mumbai not able to comprehend a 17-year-old? Second, for very obvious reasons, people wanted to know the reason behind his name 'Washington'.
It was the not first time that Sundar was performing well, just that his being among the wickets surprised one and all. While the first question was invariably answered by the experts, who showered praise on the youngster for his uncanny consistency with his line and length, as well as ability to read the batsmen's intentions.
In an interview on ESPNCricinfo, Sundar also disclosed how he worked with Pune's computer analyst to work out the opposition batsmen's weakness, a routine these days for all bowlers.
While everyone must have been impressed with the immense talent and potential he possesses, the mystery remind his name still remained. No, he was not born in the United States of America, nor does he have any connection with its capital Washington DC. The wait for the answer was finally over when his father M. Sundar revealed the story behind his name.
“I am a Hindu and come from a very humble family. Two streets away from my home in Triplicane lived an ex-army man called PD Washington," Sundar was quoted as saying to The Hindu.
Sundar Sr was himself an aspiring cricketer who made it to the Ranji probables but couldn't make it further. But Washington liked his interest in cricket, and assisted him.
"Washington was extremely fond of cricket and would come to watch us play at the Marina ground. He took a liking for my game," added the RPS sensation's father in the report.
Washington helped Sundar Sr and mentored him as the relationship between them blossomed. He would not only pay his fees but also buy him bats. Sundar's first son was born in 1999, a few months after Washington died. That's when he decided to name his newborn after the army man.
The affection and respect for Washington is such that Sundar said that if he had another kid he would name him Washington Jr.