Strong, compact, agile, quick, fit are some of the words you can relate with Eknath Kerkar. A small package with multiple utilities as a cricketer!
Specialist wicket-keeper batsmen are the call of the hour and nowadays every team has two specialist keepers in their squad. In fact, the trend has been present since the very beginning whether it was Rodney Marsh, Godfrey Evans, Alan Knott, Jeff Dujon, Syed Kirmani, Mark Boucher or Moin Khan who were all specialist keepers who represented their nation on the merit of their wicket-keeping skills.
Video-Some Catches & Stumping compilation of Eknath Kerkar
“Ekya” as he is fondly called falls into that category of players whose exceptional catching abilities behind the stumps, his quick agile reflexes and his sharp dives have made him an inevitable part of major teams in Mumbai. Eknath who was born and brought up in Mumbai started playing cricket at the age of 12. He did his school from IES New English School while he completed his senior studies from Rizvi College which is famous for churning out talented cricketers.
There have been numerous people who have assisted Eknath in his career so far but the ones who have played a big part in shaping his career have been his coaches Vinayak Mane, Vinayak Samant, Satish Samant, Rajesh Sanil and Manish Bangera. Ekya has so far played for Mumbai at U16, U23, U25 levels while he has also represented Mumbai team in Ranji Trophy which is the dream of almost every aspiring cricketer in Mumbai. Apart from Mumbai he has also represented National Cricket Academy, Bharat Petroleum while he plays Club level cricket from Karnatak Cricket Association Club which takes part in various MCA Tournaments.
There was a time in his early days when he could not afford a cricket kit but he did not gave up on playing his favorite sport. Today he is plonking sixes at Wankhede coming on National television playing in T20 Mumbai for Bandra Blasters. Not only is he known for his stunning diving efforts behind the stumps, he is also known to be one flexible batsman who can adjust at any position with some clean hitting abilities.
Video-Eknath Kerkar batting
The highlight of his career was certainly in 2017 where he scored 5 consecutive back to back hundreds at club level. He ended up scoring 11 hundreds in 2017. Eknath also scored 108* in the finals of CK Nayadu Trophy for Mumbai while scored unbeaten half centuries in his T20 and Ranji Debut!
But before he saw glory there was also a rough phase in 2012-13 Season during CK Nayadu Trophy where he was out of form and things weren’t going his way. When we asked him to dwell further on how he made a comeback, Ekya said “I worked a lot with my coaches, I worked on my technique and mental aspects. At the same time I was very much focused on improving my over all fitness. I would really like to thank my coaches Vinayak Mane, Satish Samant, Rajesh Sanil and Manish Bangera who helped me during my difficult time”
25yr old Eknath is thankful to his family and coaches for his cricketing journey while his passion for the game can be seen when he said that “ I want to play for India and want to become the best wicket-keeper batsman” when we asked him about his goals ahead in the coming years!