Medium-pace bowler Dhawal Kulkarni occasionally dreams about the game of cricket, even 17 years after he started playing professionally. “When it happens, it feels so real, it’s amazing,” says the cricketer, who remains passionate about the game as is evident in his new role as a cricket commentator on TV.
What has burnished his brand is his successful stint playing the IPL (he is rooting for the Mumbai Indians this year). But Dhawal started his cricketing odyssey when he was 16, playing for the Under-19 team. He then got selected in the Mumbai Ranji Trophy team and the Indian Cricket Team.
Like many a sportsman, Dhawal admits to being superstitious while playing. He smiles, “Like putting the right foot while entering the ground.” While acknowledging that “there is an age limit for all athletes,” he insists he always focused on performing well, rather than worrying about the results.
Fortunately, he has found an emotional anchor in wife Shraddha. “It feels good to know that someone is by your side when things go right and also when they don’t.”
Is she a cricket aficionado? “Cricket is my first love. So, she better care about it,” he smiles.
Three things nobody knows about you?
I am an early morning person, I love to hang out with my friends and I’m approachable.
Your guilty pleasure?
Eating desserts. I feel bad the next day.
Do you go for a boy’s night out often?
I rarely go out, but I have a specific group of close friends I go with when I do.
One relationship rule you follow.
Always speak the truth, even if it’s bitter.
A fitness trick you swear by?
Stretching myself to relax my body after a workout or a bowling session.
One thing you do for your mental health?
Meditate every morning.
The funniest thing that happened to you while playing or commenting.
I tore my trousers while fielding!
One fashion trend you follow.
To be honest, it’s difficult to keep up with the trends while playing cricket. I try my best.
Fitness options you recommend?
Running or swimming.
What’s your go to midnight snack?
A sandwich or a parantha.
Can you sleep on flights?
I sleep on long flights, and watch movies on short ones.
Describe yourself in a hashtag.
This or that?
Test matches or limited over matches?
Test matches. They test your character and temperament.
Veggie pulao or risotto?
Cheese risotto. I don’t like veggies mixed in my rice.
Dancing or watching others dance?
I love dancing.
Expressing love with words or diamonds?
If you really mean them, words are the best way to show your loyalty, commitment and unconditional love.
From HT Brunch, May 7, 2022
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