It all started in the Mum­bai Maidans


W100 hun­dreds in in­ter­na­tional cricket e grew up play­ing cricket in our colony; we played other sports too and this kept us very ac­tive. But cricket took prece­dence over ev­ery­thing else and all of us en­joyed a game of cricket and for­got about the wor­ries and ten­sion from school. We used to play in the maidan in front of our build­ing and every Jan­uary 26, the ju­niors will take on the se­niors and it was a fun­filled af­fair.

Things started pro­gress­ing faster than I ex­pected and I changed schools to join Shardashram Vidya­mandir. In­dia win­ning the 19■3 World Cup was a sig­nif­i­cant trig­ger. From school to Ranji Tro­phy and then play­ing for In­dia... it all hap­pened in four and half or five years time.

Cricket has given me vir­tu­ally ev­ery­thing in life. I met my wife An­jali be­cause of cricket. Cricket has been a bless­ing. It has been the foun­da­tion of ev­ery­thing that I have con­structed. My brother Ajit tak­ing me to Ra­makant Achrekar Sir’s nets was the turn­ing point in my life. If he (Ajit ) had not done so, God knows... I would have been prob­a­bly play­ing ten­nis ball cricket in front of my build­ing and that’s where it would have prob­a­bly ended.

With re­gard to Sport­star, it was the sports mag­a­zine one read while grow­ing up. Sud­denly there were write­ups on me. It was a fan­tas­tic mo­ment to see my pho­to­graph on the cover (as an in­set) af­ter the cen­tury against Gu­jarat. I still have that copy of the mag­a­zine. I also remember the longish brown kit bag that I re­ceived as a prize for the player of the tour­na­ment in the in­agu­ral Sport­star Tro­phy (un­der­17 MCA se­lec­tion trial tour­na­ment). I can never for­get those mo­ments.

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