For any batsman in world cricket, his bat is bound to hold special importance in his life since it is his weapon that helps him score runs against the opposition. Some cricketers including the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, MS Dhoni and Steve Smith are known to be very particular about the dimensions of their respective bats, its weight, feel and what not. However, Indian cricketer Manish Pandey has taken the love for bats to a different level altogether by calling them his ‘girlfriends.’
“In many ways, my bat is like a girlfriend, especially when I’m playing my matches and my actual girlfriend [now wife] isn’t around,” Manish said during the latest episode of Spicy Pitch.
“I even end up having ‘fights’ with my bat. I tell my bat that it has changed when I start to edge balls and it replies right back, ‘I think it’s you who’s changed!’,” Pandey jokingly said.
Pandey was part of the U-19 team in 2008 which went on to lift the World Cup with Virat Kohli as skipper and Ravindra Jadeja as the spinner in the team.
The trio had a great stint in International cricket and while Pandey is still in the scheme of things in limited-overs cricket, Virat and Jadeja have been proven match-winners for India. Pandey was the first Indian to score a century in IPL which came in 2009.
“I have 5 girlfriends in my bag — each of them is special for different occasions. For example, the bat with which I scored my IPL century is what I call my ‘shadow’ bat. I use it whenever I need a confidence booster or to prep for a big moment,” added the Karnataka batsman.
Manish also revealed his own set of superstitions which he follows.
“I don’t know of any cricketer who doesn’t have superstitions. For me, if I play an exceptional inning with one bat, I tend to keep using it. It almost becomes like a good luck charm.”
“For me, a bat getting destroyed in a game hurts just as bad as losing my wicket. When the bat gets chipped or cracked, I feel like I’ve injured myself,” concluded Manish.