Mumbai, Apr 08, 2023, IANS
Mumbai, April 8 (IANS); Mumbai Indians are set to return to the Wankhede Stadium in the traditional home and away format of the IPL for the first time since 2019 when they face Chennai Super Kings on Saturday.
Ahead of the big match, local favourite Suryakumar Yadav spoke about his various memories associated with playing at the Wankhede as a Mumbaikar.
Suryakumar compared the feeling of returning to the Wankhede to the emotion of returning to one's home. "When I returned to Mumbai Indians in 2018, it felt like a homecoming where everybody greets you. I got that same feeling. The first time I came to the ground, it was a very different feeling."
"Obviously when you come to any stadium you feel great. You imagine playing at the stadium, the feeling you get when you make runs and play shots at the stadium is a very different feeling."
As one of the local players in the Mumbai team, Suryakumar has many memories of the hallowed stadium right from his childhood when he played for the Mumbai age group sides.
"When the stadium was made, I was a regular here. I played domestic matches, age-group matches and then came the IPL. I was MI from 2011 to 2013. In 2018, I was reunited with the franchise after a short break."
He also spoke about how the ambience at the stadium as well as the vociferous crowd support from the MI Paltan made him work harder, which in turn helped him realise his full potential and paved his entry into the Indian team.
"After entering the stadium, I felt really special again and I thought I will have to work very hard if I have to play consistently in front of this amazing crowd at this beautiful stadium. I'll have to put in quality efforts and I have been working hard since then and have never looked back."
Suryakumar, who is the reigning ICC Men's T20I Cricketer of the Year, has an excellent record at the Wankhede Stadium for Mumbai Indians, scoring 457 runs at an average of 30.46, while striking at 135.60.
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