The name Washington Sunder was quite unfamiliar to the Indian cricket fans. When Pune Super Giant signed with 17-year old Washington Sunder, fans from all over the world started asking about this surprise player and hunted a lot of information about him. Most of all, it was his name that made him in to the spot light since such a name was absolutely rare in the country.
Washington Sundar’s father M.Sundar finally revealed the story behind his son’s rare name. and the story was quite gladdening one.
Washington’s father Sundar was also a cricketer who played the Ranji probable for Tamil Nadu cricket association in 90’s. But he needed support for uniforms, school fees and even transport to the cricket ground – all of which came from an army officer named Washington.
“Two streets away from my home in Triplicane lived an ex-army man called P.D. Washington. He was extremely fond of cricket and would come to watch us play at the Marina ground. He took a liking for my game. I was poor and he would buy uniform for me, pay my school fee, get me books, take me to the ground in his cycle and constantly encourage me,” young Washington’s father Sundar told The Hindu.
“My wife had a difficult delivery. But the baby survived. As per the Hindu custom, I whispered a God’s name, ‘Srinivasan’, in his ear. But I decided to name him Washington in memory of the man who had done so much for me. Had I had a second son, I would have called him Washington Jr,” he concluded.
It was Washington’s three wicket performance that helped Rising Pune Super gaint to beat Mumbai Indians and to enter their first IPL final.
Washington took 8 wickets from 10 matches at an economy rate of 6.61 and proved his worth as a bowler.