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Jean-Paul Duminy

Million-dollar baby

Mumbai Indians' hot new signing on the innings that made his name, his favourite player, his golf handicap, and his, er, blanket

JP Duminy warms up with football, Sydney, January 22, 2009
Duminy keeps the old ticker going with a spot of football © Getty Images

Your heart-rate has been measured at 220bpm during a match. Are you an excitable person?
Yeah, you can say that. I guess I do have a fast heart-rate, but in reality it doesn't feel that way. I mean, it doesn't feel abnormal for me even if it does sound like that.

If you could be any other cricketer from history, who would you be?
Brian Lara. Why? Just his ability to almost dictate how he wanted to play. He could play his game in any sort of situation - bad or good didn't matter.

What's your favourite Lara innings?
The 277 at the SCG.

What's the first thing you will buy with your IPL money?
A new house in Cape Town. I would like to buy it by the beach, but I think that's not enough cash probably.

US$950,000 - the biggest paycheck of your life?
By far. I was very shocked when I heard it, but very grateful too.

Tell us one thing we don't know about you.
I have a favourite blanket that I have kept with me since I was two years old. It is something special, something I feel very comfortable with. I need to feel it between my fingers when I'm in bed back home.

Who's the best-looking sportswoman in the world?
Ana Ivanovic.

Do you know any Hindi?
Nah, not really. I have seen a few Bollywood movies, but since I don't understand the language, I can't recollect anything.

Who is your favourite Jean-Paul - Jean-Paul Gaultier or Jean-Paul Sartre?
The first one - I've got a t-shirt designed by him.

Did you and AB de Villiers decide who would hit the winning runs in Perth at the change of overs, before you took those three runs that got you the 50?
No, we didn't actually decide anything like that. We needed three runs to win, and I needed three to get to my fifty. Obviously it was a nice thing for me that it ended up in that fashion, where I achieved both targets. I was overjoyed.

What was the most memorable thing about that victory in Perth?
Just the manner in which we won the game. For most of the match we were sort of playing catch-up cricket. Nobody gave us a chance to cross 414 in the fourth innings, and for us to get that was just memorable.

What was the best message of congratulations you got after that win?
When I spoke to my parents, both of them were in tears. No one really expected me to play in the Test matches, and for me to part of such an amazing game was an overwhelming feeling for them.

Was Nelson Mandela an idol for you, growing up? What would you say you've learned from him?
His story is an inspiration to a lot of people in our country, and it teaches us that anything is possible with hard work. To have gone through what he has, and to achieve what he has achieved, is a big thing.

Do you ever get called "dummy"?
Strange that you ask that. When we were in Pakistan in 2007, we were enjoying the "golf day", and the organisers were thanking us for participating in the event, and when my name was announced, it was read out as "JP Dummy".

What's your golf handicap?
12

Superstar, Mr Cricket, Mama's boy - which do you prefer?
Mama's boy. She has always been a big cricket follower and was fortunate enough to come to Australia and watch me in the Sydney Test.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

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