It seems everyday a cricketer is born in India. Yesterday, Ashish Nehra, today, Rohit Sharma. And who can forget, just the other week, Sachin Tendulkar. Yeah, that very one whose middle name is Ramesh. The great Indian cricket harvest all starts with Murali Vijay on April Fools’ Day. And if you were cued to cricket in the 60s and 70s, you’d know even before Vijay was born, April 1st was Ajit Wadekar’s birthday. Five days later, it’s the Colonel’s. Colonel who? That dude, Dilip Vengsarkar who kept wickets as the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton batted for the media. Mid month is when the dates for Dinesh Mongia and Manoj Prabhakar were fixed. April 21st is good old Venki’s. Yeah, the umpire for you, kiddo, but an integral part of India’s great spinning quartet in the 60s and 70s.
Just a couple of days before Venki’s is Deepak Hooda. Whooda? That kid from Rajasthan Royals who’s now with Sunrisers Hyderabad. Definitely a future great, just you watch out.
By the look of it, doctors certainly are. After foetal sex determination has been banned in the country, doctors have started to promise hopeful couples, hold your breath, cricketers. Even though doctors say they cannot ensure boy cricketers, they encourage couples to time their delivery in the month of April, ideally in Mumbai. (if not somewhere in Maharashtara)
As the saying goes, “An April born in Mumbai is born to play cricket for India” Not just that, they claim, a player born in April will get far more chances to succeed than one born in May or any other month. A spokesperson for ABCD (April Born Cricket Doctors) explains: “Just look at Rohit Sharma, he played 100 ODIs not doing much, but because he was born on 30th April (a very favourable date for cricket), his talent and potential was for all to see again and again and again. Also people knew that he was April born, like the great Tendulkar, and was blessed with timing and a good catcher in the slips too and enjoyed Sachin’s blessings...”
Rohit Sharma isn’t taking the April timing of his birth for granted. An unusually eloquent Rohit summed it up when he said: “I have had to work on it. Surely being born after Sachin in the same month and state as him has helped me a lot but like Sachin I have had to work on it every day, every month and not just April. Sometimes I have had to work even harder in April because that’s when the IPL starts and there is non-stop travel and now as you all know our home venue has been moved from Mumbai. But that is from May so no complaints. In April the stars were very favourable for me, personally”
Few know that Rohit Sharma wasn’t born in Mumbai but in Nagpur. Nagpur is a BCCI stronghold, with the Board President, Shashank Manohar, both a Nagpur born and resident of that city. In many ways, the power of Indian cricket is centred in Nagpur. Being born in Nagpur (and not Mumbai) has given both Shashank Manohar and Rohit Sharma a second chance to rule Indian cricket.
Future parents of April born children are hopeful. According to a ABCD spokesperson, “Earlier, parents wanted their child to be born with a silver spoon in their mouth, now they want silver bat in mouth”
There is another school of thought, doctors who believe that a child born in July has a very good chance to lead the Indian cricket team. A spokesperson for JBCD (July Born Cricket Doctors) minced no words, “April fool they are making you, it’s joyous July honestly speaking – look at it, Sunil Gavaskar, Sourav Ganguly and MS Dhoni, all July born that too within four days of each other, beat that April!”
(However plausible this may sound, this is largely a work of fiction.)