The Indian Premier League has seen several famous rags-to-riches stories and one such is that of Hardik and Krunal Pandya. The Pandya brothers started their cricket journey in Baroda and after getting selected to play for Mumbai Indians in the IPL, the duo have gone on to represent the country.
While Krunal has gone to play only in T20 Internationals, Hardik is an integral part of the Indian team across formats.
In a recent interview, Krunal revealed how it was a decision to turn down a speed post government job that led to him being selected by Mumbai Indians. The left-hander had witnessed a dip in his career but still decided to go for the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy trials instead of the government job when the opportunity came.
“My graph dipped after the age of 13. There was a time I wasn’t even playing for Baroda,” Krunal was quoted as saying Cricbuzz.
“Back in the day, there was a government recruitment speed post job and I received a letter for trials. My father told me that it’s a good opportunity, you may earn Rs 15-20k a month, so you should go and try it out. At the same time, I also had trial games coming up for Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy for Baroda team. I thought that I have worked so hard for the past two-three years and I have become a new player.
He added: “So I thought I didn’t work hard for a speed post job. I did it to become a cricketer. I tore down the letter and threw it away, and decided to go for the trials. I went for the trials and I performed really well. I got selected for Baroda team. Hardik was already in the team. Syed Mushtaq matches were in Mumbai.”
It was during these matches that the brothers were spotted by the then Mumbai Indians coach John Wright due to their all-round abilities. Krunal was signed by the franchise in 2016, a year after his brother, and the two have gone on to win two IPL titles together for MI.
“Coach John Wright spotted me and Hardik, and he saw that these two brothers are good talents - they can both bat and bowl,” he said.
“So from thereon, he followed us up, and our lives changed. I feel the letter that I threw away worked in my favour. If I hadn’t played in the trial matches, our lives will be quite different.”
The 2020 IPL edition, that was scheduled to start on March 29, has been postponed to April 15 owing to coronavirus lockdown in India. While doubts remain over the resumption of the current season, the BCCI is reportedly considering the July window to conduct games behind closed doors.