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The Daily Dose

Three tales

Once upon an anecdote

Sriram Veera
Sourav Ganguly steers the ball to the off side, Kings XI Punjab v Kolkata Knight Riders, IPL, 27th match, Port Elizabeth, May 3, 2009

That's Dada, not anyone's grandfather  •  AFP

Among the many delights of life as a touring writer is getting to bump into players and listen to their stories. The IPL has provided decent pickings so far.
Yuvraj Singh had an account from a night out. "We - Ravi Bopara, Robin Uthappa and Irfan Pathan - were having dinner at an Indian restaurant. A guy from another table comes over. I could see he was very drunk. He taps me on the shoulder and says, "Yuvraj, how do you bat?" And almost falls on to me after saying it. I said, "I bat left-handed". The others started laughing. He said, "No, no, no. How do you hit the ball so far?" He was about to fall down. He said, "My son tells me the way you clear the ball..." and when he said "clear", some alcohol spurted out of his mouth and hit me straight in the eye!
"I almost fell down, and of course everybody nearly fell down laughing. His friend came and took him away. I had to go wash my eye. It was red all night."
Irfan Pathan has a tale from the early days: "When I was new to international cricket, I was interviewed on TV once. I was asked about Dada. I was innocent and dumb! I thought he was asking about my grandfather and said, "Dada toh kab ke ghuzar gaye" (Grand-dad passed away a while ago). Which was when the producer said "Cut, cut!" The interviewer was asking about Sourav Ganguly."
Trevor Penney, Kings XI Punjab's assistant coach figured in the innings that produced cricket's highest first-class score. "I batted with [Brian] Lara when he scored 501. We put on a partnership of 314. I scored 44! I only faced some 70 balls through one whole day. He would hit four, four, six and somehow, miraculously or by some accident, take a single and I would get one ball. Oh, it was great! What did he say to me? 'Just keep batting with me!'"

Sriram Veera is a staff writer at Cricinfo