Dubai: Amit Mishra, the veteran Indian leg spinner and a loyalist of the Delhi franchise in Indian Premier League (IPL), will surely rate as one of unsung heroes of the league. While Sri Lanka’s Lasith Malinga walks away with a lot of kudos for being the highest wicket-taker in IPL with 170 wickets, not many can recall that Mishra occupies the second position with 157 scalps.
Now 37, Mishra had been doing his bit in these times of nationwide lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic as sometime back, he took to the streets of New Delhi donating essentials to those in need. “I have some friends in the police and in various NGOs, and during a chat they mentioned to me that people are facing huge problems with basic essentials. I decided to help, and have tried to provide items of basic utility like raw food, masks, kits to those in need,” he said during a Instagram live chat with Delhi Capitals’ official handle.
Asked about the prospect of playing IPL in empty stadiums, Mishra insisted that dealing with the pandemic is the top priority now. “I feel the most important thing right now is to deal with the coronavirus and ensure that we are taking all precautions. After that, once the situation is better, we should definitely have cricket. It would mean that the fans can enjoy the sport on TV at least,” said the veteran.
Harping on his long association with the Delhi team, Mishra said he feels emotionally connected to the franchise after spending eight years with them. “I feel emotionally connected with Delhi Capitals having played here for eight years. I feel like the team is part of my DNA now, and my aim always is to try to give more than 100% every time I step onto the field,” he said.
Reflecting on last season’s excellent performance when Delhi finished third, the veteran bowler credited the positive team environment for the success. “I think last year was fantastic for us – you could see the team was united throughout, and that reflected onto the field as well. I believe everyone was playing their roles well, and the positivity around the group really helped us in putting in great performances,” said the leggie, who is also no rabbit with the bat.
Mishra fondly reminisced his Test innings of 84 where he batted with Sachin Tendulkar, the man he calls his idol. “I am really proud to have batted with Sachin paji. I think it was one of the most memorable moments of my Test career. We were playing against England in the 2011 tour and I had scored 43 in the first innings.
‘‘The second innings, we were following on and needed to play well to avoid defeat. I went in as night watchman and Sachin paji kept guiding me through the innings. It was important for us to get through the morning session, and I ended up scoring 84 while paji made 91. However, I was also really gutted that we lost the match.”