Mon. Apr 22nd, 2024

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Kings, cricket culture and crocodiles: How Baroda shaped Hardik Pandya, Yusuf Pathan, Atul Bedade

IND vs NED Baroda would go on to shape Hardik Pandya, the pace all-rounder India had longed for since Kapil Dev. If not for Baroda, the Hardik story would have unfolded differently. (Illustration by Suvajit Dey)

As the World Cup caravan is set to roll across the length and breath of India, a pertinent question arises: how does a place and its social milieu shape a cricketer and influence their game? Could Virat Kohli have been the same man and player were he born in Guwahati East and not in West Delhi? Or what would have happened to Kuldeep Yadav had he been from Colaba in Mumbai? We find out in this seven-part series.

In the late 90s, a father in Surat faced a dilemma. Baroda or Mumbai? He wanted his two sons to chase their sporting dreams and for that he was willing to start afresh in a city with a cricketing culture. Eventually, he decided to make Baroda his new home. (Read more from Sandeep Dwivedi)



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