Left-arm pacer Jaydev Unadkat on Friday revealed that star England all-rounder Ben Stokes named him ‘Mango Man’ after the Ranji Trophy winning Saurashtra captain got him the summer fruit during their playing time together for Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
“When I brought mangoes for him he was the happiest and called me Mango Man of the group,” Unadkat said in an Instagram Live from his IPL side Rajasthan Royals’ official handle.
“I have memories of him smashing his bats and helmets, he is dangerous after getting out. But he is a great guy, he is a champion,” said Unadkat who returned to Rajasthan Royals for Rs 3 crore.
The IPL has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Unadkat said although he is dying to be back on the field, he can’t complain keeping the present situation in mind.
“I am dying to be on the field. But I can’t complain. We have to be in this fight together,” said Unadkat who got engaged just after the RanjiTrophy final.
Unadkat also said leading Saurashtra to their maiden Ranji Trophy title was one of the best moments of his career and the feeling of holding the trophy aloft was amazing.
Saurashtra won their maiden Ranji Trophy title after earning a 44-run lead in the first innings against Bengal in the final which ended in a draw here.
Unadkat produced a lion-hearted spell when it mattered the most, leading his team to their maiden triumph, a year after stumbling at the last hurdle.
The 28-year old, who is known more for his IPL riches, claimed 67 wickets which is the most for any pacer in the Ranji Trophy surpassing Dooda Ganesh’s 62 wickets in 1998-99 season.
“That was special, one of the best moments in my career and biggest trophy that I have won,” Unadkat said.
“Ranji is always tough. So many matches…so we need to be fit throughout the season. Winning the semifinal and final under pressure was an amazing feeling. Holding the trophy was also an amazing feeling. I can’t forget that moment. I hope we can lift the IPL trophy as well,” said Unadkat who has played one Test, seven ODIs and 10 T20s for India so far.
Asked about his favourite India cricketer, Unadkat said: “I love watching India’s matches a lot. In 2007 when we won the T20 World Cup, I was in my balcony shouting a lot. So I can’t pick a player. Anybody who plays for India inspires me.”