The Indian Premier League (IPL) has given India a plethora of talented cricketers, who have their own tales of struggles, coming from humble beginnings.
But there’s a story greater than the rags to riches tale of the Pandya brothers. The two Mumbai Indians’ all-rounders are currently in the prime of their careers and have already represented the nation, owing to their impressive performances.
Things haven’t always been easy for the Pandya family as Krunal recalled the time during a Ranji match when the two had to share the same bat.
“I have to keep pinching myself frequently to believe that this is actually real, but this is our life now,” Krunal said in the latest episode of Spicy Pitch.
“Growing up in a middle-class family in Vadodara, Gujarat, resources weren’t easy to come by. At that time, good-quality English willow bat was a luxury of INR 7000-8000, a huge amount back then. With both me and Hardik playing, my father had dual responsibility on his shoulders,” continued the elder Pandya.
“I remember when we were playing for Vadodara during Vijay Hazare tournament. Hardik had a bat gifted to him by Irfan Pathan, while I had another. Hardik’s bat broke before a crucial game. He used to bat at number three while used to bat lower down at six. Hardik took my bat and got on with the game,” added the left-hander.
“Hardik was still on the crease when I had to go out to bat later. I didn’t even have a bat then. Finally, I found a teammate with a spare bat. Despite being embarrassed, I requested him for the bat. That’s how bad things were even at the Ranji Trophy level,” Krunal concluded.
Hardik was retained by Mumbai Indians prior to the mega-auctions of IPL 2018 for a lucrative amount, while Krunal was repurchased by the Ambanis using the Right to Match card in the auctions.
The two cumulatively earn almost INR 20 crores while representing in just a season for the four-time IPL Champions. BCCI included Hardik in the Grade ‘B’ bracket of their central contracts of the year 2020.