Param brothers eager to strike gold at SEA Games
Debutants will represent Singapore in the same cricket team for the first time
Growing up, the Param brothers - Anish, Prasheen and Navin - represented Singapore in cricket at different age-group levels, but never in the same team due to their age difference.
"We were in the same teams, but always two at a time," Prasheen, 25, told The New Paper.
"It was always either me and my elder brother (Anish), or me and Navin, but we never had the opportunity to play in the same team together."
So, when it was made known that cricket will be offered at the SEA Games this year, the brothers made a concerted effort to try and make the team together.
Navin, 21, said: "We started hitting the gym more often, trying to get physically fit, working on our game play, which required more training.
"We really upped the ante."
Anish, 27, and Navin were getting regular training and game time as the eldest sibling is a professional with the Three Bridges Cricket Club in England, while Navin had graduated from junior college and was training full-time.
However, Prasheen, a final-year accountancy and business undergraduate at the Nanyang Technological University, was not getting as much practice as he would have liked.
Busy with his university internship in the first part of the year, he was naturally worried if he would make the cut for the national team.
So, when all three were selected for both the T20 and 50 Overs teams to make their SEA Games debuts, the brothers were understandably elated.
Men: Anantha Krishna, Anish Paraam, Arun Vijayan, Dharmichand Mulewa, Lishaan Shekhar, Janak Prakash, Karthik Suresh, Mohamed Shoib Abdul Razak, Muruthi James Kailash, Navin Param, Prasheen Param, Rezza Gaznavi, Riaz Hussien, Deepak Sarika, Abhiraj Rajdeep Singh, Varun Sivaram, Vijai Sriranga Singaraja
Women: Aow Aow Ci Hui, Dhavina Haresh Sharma, G K Diviya, Martens Hannah Marie, Jacinta Neubronner, Rajeswari Pasupathy, Roshni Ramesh, Samantha Ashwini Singham, Shafia Mehboob Hassan, Shafina Mahesh Smruthi Radhakrishnan, Zoe Tan, Toh Wang Ling, Vathana Sreemurugavel, Vigineswari Pasupathy
PERFORMANCE AT THE 2015 SEA GAMES
Anish said, in an e-mail from England: "I am deliriously excited, this is the first time that the three of us are representing the country together, and I am thoroughly looking forward to it."
Prasheen added: "I think the proudest moment was when we found out that Anish was made the captain."
To say that cricket runs in the Param family would be an understatement.
Their uncle Stacey Muruthi and cousins Peter and James were national players, and introduced them to the game when they were young.
Another cousin, G K Diviya, will be captaining the women's cricket team at the SEA Games.
Prasheen said: "When we were younger, we used to meet at our grandmother's place every Sunday, and we would play cricket at the void deck."
Whatever Anish did, the two younger siblings followed suit, which meant that they picked up hockey and golf as well.
Cricket wasn't always the automatic choice for Prasheen and Navin - the pair played hockey for their school teams at primary school level.
Prasheen, a Raffles Institution alumnus, said: "Initially, I wasn't that committed to cricket because I wasn't seeing the results... hockey, for some reason, I could see the results, so I was more inclined towards that sport."
Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) graduate Navin added: "I didn't really like cricket in primary school; I was in the school hockey team and my school didn't offer cricket.
"I picked up cricket seriously only in secondary school, when I started to find it more interesting.
"Also, Anish and Prasheen were always travelling overseas and going for development tours to all parts of Asia.
"I didn't get to travel anywhere with hockey and that, for me, was a big deciding factor actually. If I had gone either way, I would have been happy."
Making the SEA Games team together was the first step for the Param brothers.
The next will be to bring home the T20 and 50 Overs gold medals.
Of their target, Prasheen said: "Definitely two golds. I dare say we have a very good chance of winning two golds, but we can't underestimate the other teams."
The New Paper continues the countdown to the 29th SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur with a look at the family connections in various sports. Today, we feature the Param brothers in cricket