In a heart-warming gesture after the conclusion of local cricket tournament – Police Shield – Indian batsman Suryakumar Yadav decided to give away his man of the match award to a local groundsman.
Yadav was playing for his club Parsee Gymkhana in the three-day Police Shield final against Payyade Sports Club, in which he scored 259 runs in 152 balls at the Police Gymkhana ground in Mumbai. Yadav, after the match, talked about how the contribution of the ground staff always goes amiss.
“I think that’s one thing we always neglect as cricketers,” he told The Indian Express.
“The effort groundsmen make is not spoken much about. They are the first ones to be on the ground. In the morning they are here by 6:30 AM. They will prepare the pitch, clear dew. These things are close to my heart because the time I started to play cricket, I remember whenever I had to bat at the nets, I used to roll the pitch along with groundsmen and a few of my friends.”
It’s an exercise not just Yadav, but every cricket goes through in their early days in the sport. Yadav recalled his own responsibilities when he was younger and helping out, claiming the effort it took to fix nets gave him an understanding of the work they put in.
“They go unnoticed. We score, everyone praises us, we see our name in papers but sadly no one says thank you for their (groundsmen) effort,” the Mumbai Indians player stated.
“I feel each player should remember their contribution towards their game. They make pitches for us, they ensure we get a good track to uplift our career. They deserve a lot of credit.”
A regular at Mumbai maidans
Yadav is among few players in Mumbai cricket, who despite playing for India, turn up to play local cricket in the Mumbai maidans.
With the Indian team that will play the ODI series in South Africa yet to be announced, Yadav decided to turn up for his club Parsee Gymkhana to play the three-day finals.
The 31-year-old added that he loves to turn up for his local club whenever he’s available to play.
“I always tell my colleagues never to ever forget your roots, the journey from where it all started.,” he said.
“Local cricket, club cricket and then India. I respect each one’s contribution. Whenever I am available I just pick my bag and play for my club. I always maintain the club-culture, one should turn up and give service to your club. If the club that stands beside you now needs you the most, just close your eyes and turn up.”
After all these years, he still misses the culture he could only get at a local club. That’s why he prefers playing those matches instead of having nets session. The banter, the criticism, the sledging has helped him develop the thicker skin and mentality needed to become a better cricketer.
“Look at the amount of variety of pitches I get to play here. I play at Cross Maidan, there is a different kind of pitch. When I play for Azad Maidan, it is different. When I went to play for Mumbai, I could adjust on any track. So playing a match is very important,” he concluded.