Mayank recalls gully cricket in JP Nagar

Bengaluru-boy Mayank Agarwal has been picked up by Kings XI Punjab for this edition of IPL. Mayank, who was in the city recently to play against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), says that he is more than happy to return to the city he grew up in. The younger cricketer says that he is looking forward to another season of fun, excitement and action.
In an interview with Nina C George, Mayank recalls his gully cricket in the city and his journey so far.

Your fondest memories of playing cricket in Bengaluru...

My earliest memories of playing cricket here is representing the state as part of the Under-13 team. Playing for Karnataka and later being picked by RCB for IPL were memorable moments.

How has cricket changed your life?

Playing cricket has taught me how to handle ups and downs. I learnt that I don’t really need to compare myself to anybody and that everybody’s journey is different. It also taught me to be patient, disciplined and humble.

Tell us about your gully cricket days in Bengaluru.

My first tryst with the sport was gully cricket. I remember that my friends and I would play on the streets in J P Nagar, near the mini forest. We would use the barks of trees as wickets.

Which sportsperson did you grow up idealising?

I began playing cricket after watching Sachin Tendulkar but my favourite cricketer is Virender Sehwag. I like the way he plays the game and how he takes active opposition.

What kind of Indian food do you introduce your foreign counterparts to during IPL?

We suggest that they try a variety of Indian dishes. The normal suggestions are ‘Chicken Tikka’ and ‘Butter Chicken’. Most of the overseas cricketers like ‘Butter Chicken’ and tend to stick to it.

What do you do in your spare time?

I play football and read a lot. My favourite book is ‘The Power of Your Subconscious Mind’ by Joseph Murphy. I like reading a lot of self-help books because they help me understand the inner self.

Two words in Kannada and Hindi that you would teach the overseas cricketers in your team...

The two words in Kannada would be ‘Hege idhira?’ (how are you) and ‘Naanu chennagi iddini’ (I am fine). The Hindi words are ‘Shukriya’ (thank you) and ‘Kaise ho’ (how are you?).

Karnataka has produced some great cricketers. Your comments?

Karnataka has a great cricketing culture and I am glad that we have been able to sustain that reputation. 

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