Patil, on the other hand, felicitated Patel with the score sheet of the ‘perfect 10,’ and a special memento.
Meanwhile, local curators Nadim Memon and Ramesh Mamunkar received a word of appreciation from Patel and the Indian captain and coach. Like in Kanpur, Team India gave Rs 35,000 to the ground staff in Mumbai.
‘Ajaz bhai should’ve been MOM’
Even though they were delighted to be at the Garware Stand in the Wankhede Stadium on Monday morning to watch their ‘ jeejaji’ (brother-in-law) Ajaz Patel, Abdul Basit and Ashfan Patel, and the left-arm spinner’s family friends, Hasnain Shaikh and Noor Shaikh had a couple of small regrets: “Ajaz bhai should’ve been named as the Man-of-the-Match. Mayank Agarwal’s century in the first innings was fantastic, but 10 wickets in a game is a rare feat,” rued Ashfan, who had taken a ‘special leave’ on Monday to watch his brother-in-law live in action.
The other wish, which understandably didn’t come true was a personal meeting and a ‘selfie’ with their ‘Ajaz bhai’ at the Wankhede after play concluded on the fourth morning of the India versus New Zealand Test here. “All he could do was wave to us from near the fence. We wanted to meet him, but that doesn’t look possible due to covid restrictions. “He’s in a bubble, so I’m not sure if he can meet us,” said Basit, before pointing at this New Zealand cricket cap. “Ajaz bhai threw it towards me from the ground yesterday,” he chirped.
The Mumbai-born New Zealand tweaker, who lived in Jogeshwari till he was eight, had arranged tickets for his relatives and family friends in the city for various days of the match. “All of us came to watch the match some day or the other. Some relatives got tickets for the fifth day. They will miss out now,” said Ashfan. “It’s a proud feeling for us that he’s taken all 10 wickets in an innings at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. We’re glad that we were here and thus became a part of history. The entire family is celebrating,” said Basit.
His relatives feel that this Test was a God-sent opportunity for them to at least see Ajaz on a cricket ground. “It was a rare chance to watch him play. Our dua (prayer) to see him on a cricket ground has come true. New Zealand is far off, so it’s not easy for him to come too often- he hasn’t come to Mumbai since covid struck early last year,” said Basit. “I’m a big fan of Virat Kohli, but we were supporting Ajaz bhai in this game,” concluded Basit.