Cricketers are often seen driving around in their flashy rides, making appearances where photographers chase after them and security has to act as the barrier between them and the fans. But Indian pacer Shardul Thakur was seen travelling in Mumbai local train leaving passengers confused as they wondered whether it was really him or just a lookalike.
In an interview with Indian Express, the 26-year-old revealed what people used to say to him early on in his career when he travelled regularly from Mumbai to Palghar.
People would often ask me when I’ll play for Mumbai and India in the train. Some would taunt me as well saying ‘why are you after cricket, itna door se aa ke thodi koi India ke liye khelega. Stop doing time pass’. But I knew what I had to do. I have devoted my life to cricket, and at the same time also finished my graduation.
Thakur revealed how passengers were confused when he resorted to travelling in local train over taking a cab home. He also talked about how regular passengers who knew him reacted to seeing him taking the train despite the stardom.
They say the boy who used to travel with us is now playing for India. This time I boarded the train in Andheri after getting off the flight from South Africa. Straight from business class to first-class. I had my headphones on and just wanted to get home soon. But I could sense people in the compartment looking at me and wondering whether I really was “Shardul Thakur”. A few college kids then Googled my picture just to be sure and then asked for a selfie. I told all of them to wait till I got off at Palghar. Many were amazed that an India cricketer was traveling with them. Some old-timers were recalling how they’ve been seeing me in the train for years. But my feet remain very grounded. I have not received anything on a platter and worked hard for it.
Cricketers travelling via public transport is common in countries like New Zealand. However, we seldom see Indian cricketers walking down the street or travelling in public transport without getting mobbed barring former Indian cricketer Rahul Dravid.
Here’s how Twitterati reacted to Thakur taking a local train –
Times of Ipl Contracts & Times of being a Current India Player too…A Boy still traveling by Train to his home after coming from South Africa..Touched to see these feet on the ground..Do well Shardul Thakur… pic.twitter.com/iezE3DsZNM
— Reetinder Sodhi (@ReetinderSodhi) March 2, 2018
Shardul Thakur got off the Emirates flight on his return from South Africa with the cricket team. He straight went to Andheri railway station and boarded a local Mumbai train to Palghar, just like he has almost his entire life. Such humility! pic.twitter.com/M7Z70tNExy
— Harsh Goenka (@hvgoenka) March 2, 2018
People would often ask me when I’ll play for Mumbai and India in the train. Some would taunt me as well saying ‘why are you after cricket….Stop doing time pass’. But I knew what I had to do. – @imShard Dhool Thakur. #WhistlePodu https://t.co/1mhgfOP5PZ
— Chennai Super Kings (@ChennaiIPL) March 2, 2018
The suburban local train – The best and fastest mode of transportation for the poor and rich, unknown and celebrities, both – @imShard Shardul Thakur on board Mumbai’s lifeline after returning from South Africa tour – Purchased ticket before boarding – hats off to his simplicity. pic.twitter.com/62aRUDzR6j
— Central Railway (@Central_Railway) March 3, 2018
No Caption Needed
Shardul Thakur pic.twitter.com/PH2DFgLtMo
— Smriti Official FC (@SmritimandhnaFC) March 3, 2018
— Cricking (@CricKingApp) March 3, 2018
— Süsh Dhôrë (@sushD20) March 3, 2018
— Lakshmi Narayanan (@lakshuakku) March 3, 2018
— (@NithishK7) March 3, 2018
Thakur was selected for the limited overs series. He dazzled in the Centurion ODI wher he took 4 wickets for 52 runs. In the T20I series, he got two matches where he picked up one wicket each. He will be playing in Nidahas Trophy where India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka will lock horns in the tri-nation T20I series.