Akhil Herwadkar-When his father gazed at him and saw that spark at 6yrs of age!

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Mumbai Cricket Team is by far one of the most successful Ranji Trophy Teams in India and there is a reason behind that! With a population of 22.5 Million people residing in Mumbai, there are thousands of talented cricketers grinding hard each and every single day to make a mark in professional cricket. There are thousands of young aspirants for whom cricket is not just a game but it’s a religion in itself.

Over the years, Mumbai Cricket has been gifted with some of the most talented cricketers the world has even seen and the only reason being the amount of passion, hard work and dedication Mumbaikars put in their favorite sport of cricket!

When we talk about Mumbai Cricketers, the name of Akhil Herwadkar definitely pops up as he has been playing consistently across various age groups and across various tournaments since quite a few years. Born on 31st October, 1994, just 24yrs old and he has already represented Mumbai team in 38 first class games. Born in Jaysinghpur (Sangli) while brought up in Mumbai, Akhil made his first class debut at the age of only 17 in the 2011-12 Ranji Trophy but was subsequently dropped from after one match. Two years back and he came back with 373 runs in 6 matches but it was the next season which defined his true colors amassing 879 Ranji runs. It also included a glorious 192 vs Gujarat as he finished as the 2nd highest run getter during that time. The good run continued with knocks like 90 vs Rest of India in the Irani Trophy while he was eventually bought by Delhi Daredevils for a sum of Rs 10 Lakh in the IPL Auctions. Akhil has also been part of the India U19 on the back of his good performances at Mumbai U16 &U19 Levels.

When we asked Akhil to elaborate how he started, he shared: initially I was playing with a bat and a ball at my place, my father gazed at me and sighted the spark and put me into Cricket! From that point of time, I started pursuing coaching in cricket! I started playing Cricket at the age of 6 and onwards & i still feel after a couple of decades there is no limit to learning skills as i am still into it.

Akhil who studied at Shiv Samarth School in Thane and graduated from Ramniranjan Jhunjhunwala College, Ghatkopar wants to express gratitude for both of these Institutions for their support! However, between all that glory is always the unseen struggle and even Akhil had a tough time to make it into the Ranji team as there were best of the players competing in the Mumbai Ranji team during that time. “The competition level was immense while once i made it into the team, the pressure was to survive & maintain my existence in the team”

Akhil batting video

Amongst the big teams, Akhil has played for Mumbai U14, U16, U19, U22, U23, Ranji Trophy, Ranji Trophy One Day, Ranji Trophy T20, India A, India Red, ROI (Rest of India) & Delhi Daredevils while he plays for Payyade Sports Club at the Club Level in the MCA Tournaments. Akhil with 231 runs in 6 games for Arcs Andheri was also amongst the top run getters in the latest edition of T20 Mumbai making quite a comeback after just 53 runs in 5 games in the 1st season.

In an era of clean hitters when most of the batsmen want to play faster, Akhil has been the classy & silent accumulator of runs making him one of the last breeds of players who grew up with emphasis on red ball cricket. However, it does not mean he can’t accelerate, his 58 ball 79 in the last match of the T20 Mumbai this season for Arcs Andheri or the 54 ball 101 in the 68th Salar Jung Tournament in 2017 are quite a few testimonies that he can quickly change his game.

When we asked him to share some of the performances which are dear to him, Akhil quipped-The Ranji Trophy Season of 2016-17 when I scored 980 runs & took 8 wkts, 89* vs Australia when I was playing for India A, 100 in the quarter-finals of Ranji Trophy against Delhi are some really memorable performances which will be very close to me.

At last Akhil said “I would really thank my parents, coaches, my sister to believe in me and support me every single day which brought me closer to my dream! I would’nt have been what I am today with the absence of these positive souls! My Aim is to play for my country India and give Indians a reason to celebrate moments where in the world cup is home!

At the age between 24 to 28, a player is at his peak in terms of his game & fitness, 24yr old Akhil still has plenty of cricketing years left in him. We wish Akhil all the luck for a great career ahead.