Ajaz Patel’s phone was vibrating 24/7 with new messages being received each second before finally, he decided to turn off the mobile and soak in the moment. Ajaz Patel is now in the elusive club of Jim Laker and Anil Kumble. He has achieved a feat which can be called as one of a generation, since the other two members of the club were of two very different generations. He might have been born in the chaotic city of Mumbai, but Ajaz is a proper resident of New Zealand now.
About being asked of achieving the feat in his birth city, Ajaz said, “To come back home to Mumbai and Wankhede and to be able to produce something like that is quite special. I am thankful to God for blessing me with such an occasion in my cricketing journey.”
Didn’t expect to make it to the honours board this way – Ajaz Patel
Ajaz ended Day 1 with four wickets in his kitty. He knew he was doing well, but as he had said, “Job is only half done.” Well, on Day 2, he finished the job. Completely. All by himself. “I mean I knew leaving here last night there was still work to do,” he said. “I really really wanted to get my name on the honours board. I had no expectation of it going up in this fashion. It is very special and pretty cool. One of the first things I saw when I got off was my name is definitely going to be on the honours board now.”
Anil Kumble was one of the firsts to congratulate Ajaz. Being asked about the senior member of the club, and whether he remembers Anil Kumble’s 10-fer, Ajaz said, “I definitely do remember. I have seen highlights of it as well many a time. To be in such an illustrious group is really really special. It was very cool to see his message and kind words. I am very very humbled and very very fortunate to be in such fine company.”
Picking Mayank’s wicket was very rewarding – Ajaz
Biggest stumbling block of Ajaz Patel’s 10-fer was the man who scored a 150 and got overshadowed. Mayank Agarwal. Mayank even punished some loose balls of Ajaz and scored the most runs off his bowling than any other batsman. “To score 150 out there in conditions that are pretty challenging for batting is pretty special,” Ajaz said.
“My plan was simple: keep challenging him with good balls. As a batter he has got to front up every ball. As a bowler, I have to keep bowling my best ball. It was a long battle. Sometimes they take a lot longer than you like. He played a special knock as well. It was cool for me to finally get him. It was quite rewarding to be honest. It was a lot of hard work trying to get him out.”
“Personally I think one of the greatest cricketing days in my life. And it will probably always be.”, Ajaz concluded.