It reads like an impossible Bollywood fantasy: a teenager who speaks no English and four years ago worked at construction sites to fund a javelin-throwing career is now worth crores of rupees in flood-lit US baseball arenas.

Except, it’s true.

Four years ago, Dinesh Patel, then 15, worked for 25 days at sites near his dusty village of Khanpur on the outskirts of the holy city of Varanasi to collect Rs. 3,500 as admission fees to the Guru Gobind Singh Sports College in Lucknow.