Indian cricketers have a different story to share apart from their exploits on the cricket field. Here are some of the unknown things about these Indian cricketers. Have a look.
Virat Kohli’s No 18 jersey: The Indian Test skipper has an emotional connect with this number. His father Prem Kohli died on December 18, 2006 when he was just 18. His father had always encouraged young Kohli to play cricket and it was his dream to see Virat play for India one day. But he passed away before Virat Kohli made his international debut. Virat has always sported No 18 jersey in U-19 cricket and carried it to international cricket and for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL.
Jasprit Bumrah received IPL contract even before playing first-class cricket: He received his IPL contract in 2013 even before he has played a single First-Class Match. The then Mumbai Indians coach John Wright spotted him during the 2013 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and was impressed with his control and action. And within days, he was sharing the dressing room of Mumbai Indians that had Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting and Harbhajan Singh. Playing for Mumbai Indians, Bumrah made his IPL debut against Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2013. He took 3/32 in that match, including the prize wicket of Virat Kohli. During the same season, he made his first-class debut against Vidarbha, taking up seven wickets in his first match.
Sourav Ganguly was dropped for his “arrogance”: Sourav made his international debut in 1992 Down Under. He was dropped after just one ODI where he scored 3 runs. He was perceived to be arrogant as he refused to carry drinks for his teammates. However, Ganguly denied this accusation later. In 1996, Ganguly made his Test debut in England and cracked two tons in two Tests and went on to lead India and became one of the successful skippers in Indian cricket history.
Barinder Singh Sran was a budding boxer: Cricket was never in the mind of this Sirsa-born player. He, in fact, was training to be a boxer at the Bhiwani Boxing Club, Haryana. A talent hunt ad in a newspaper from Kings XI Punjab changed the fortunes of this under-study pugilist. Although he did not got selected for Kings XI, his talent got him noticed. He took up cricket seriously then. He made it through the ranks by excelling in talent contests, winning the North India leg of a contest called Gatorade Speedster. He got his big break in 2011, making his first-class debut against Odisha at Mohali. He impressed in his debut match, taking a match haul of 7 wickets. He had a successful season, taking 14 wickets. Soon, he made his international debut for India.
Sachin Tendulkar was a big prankster: The Indian batting legend was a shy and introvert cricketer when he made his international debut as a 16-year-old. But he was also a big prankster who loved to play tricks on his teammates. Once he put a hose pipe into Sourav Ganguly’s room; he fooled Irfan Pathan into eating spicy food; and he even played a prank on a cab driver during a series in the Caribbean.
Rohit Sharma’s long wait for Test debut: Rohit Sharma would have made his Test debut against South Africa in 2010 if he has not twisted his ankle on the morning of the match. He finally played his first Test in 2013 against West Indies and went on to score two tons in his first two Tests. He took 108 ODIs, beating Suresh Raina’s record of 98 ODIs, before making his Test debut.
Sourav Ganguly eloped with Dona Roy: In true filmi style, Sourav Ganguly ran away with his girlfriend Dona Roy as the two families were sworn enemies then. Ganguly did this after his successful tour of England in 1996 where he cracked a ton in his debut Test at Lord’s. The two family reconciled and held a formal wedding for the love birds. And then they lived happily ever after…
Sachin Tendulkar’s helmet tug: The Indian batting legend developed the habit of shaking his head or adjusting his helmet whenever he took guard to face the bowler. The helmet tug became a part of Sachin’s batting that other budding cricketers started copying it. Sachin, in an interview, revealed that his helmet was never tight and used to slide up with the top of the grill coming in the line of his eyes. He used to then do the legendary helmet tug to bring the grill down so that he could see the ball clearly from the gap between the grill and the helmet.
Sunil Gavaskar, Sandeep Patil and Syed Kirmani have burnt their fingers in acting: These cricketers tried their hand in acting and needless to say it was not that great experience and they did not pursue it further. Sandeep Patil played a hero in a box-office dud Kabhie Ajnabi The. Kirmani played the villain in the same movie. Gavaskar played himself in a special appearance in a movie starring Naseeruddin Shah called Maalamaal. Other cricketers who tried their luck in acting, but met with dismal fate include Ajay Jadeja, Vinod Kambli, Mohsin Khan and Salil Ankola among others.
MS Dhoni’s ghost prank: Before coming into the national team, MS Dhoni served as a Train Ticket Examiner from 2001-2003. During his stay in the railway quarters, Dhoni pulled off a prank. He and a few of his friends covered themselves in bed sheets and walked around the complex late in the night. The guards were fooled that the area was haunted by ghosts. The incident made big news the following day.