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Meet the Mangela family who have dedicated their lives for the development of Cricket in Mumbai

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(Pic Source: Shrideep Mangela)

Shrideep Ganpat Mangela is one of the many talents, Mumbai Cricket has churned out along the way. Shrideep emulated his brother’s footsteps and represented the Mumbai Ranji side. Cricket flows in the veins of the Mangela family.

The Mangela family today run their cricket academy and all three brothers, Shrideep, Mundeep and Sandeep have dedicated their time and life in developing youngsters for the future. Cricfit caught up with Shrideep and here is what he had to say about his stint with the Mumbai Ranji team and their Mangela Cricket Academy.

Q. Just give us a glimpse on your childhood and your introduction to the gentleman’s game?

Shrideep: My grandfather was an inspiration to me. He motivated and played a crucial role in grooming us (brothers) to the game. My father had dreams to play cricket but couldn’t represent due to the financial conditions but he made sure that we weren’t left in the middle. I was five when I was introduced to the game when my grandpa taught us to hold the bat. Though he isn’t with us now, my dad has always been a backbone of our cricket life.

Q. So what was your love initially? Batting or bowling? How were your school days?

Shrideep: Batting. I am a pure batsman and I always love to open the innings. Initially, I started my schooling at Shardashram Vidya Mandir (“Oh wow! That school where Ramakant Achrekar sir used to train?” I exclaimed )before moving to Bandra. I played for two years and that’s how I was exposed to school cricket.

Q. When was your first exposure to Mumbai Cricket? Explain the experience?

Shrideep: My dreams came true when I first represented Mumbai Under 16. It was a feeling that I couldn’t explain. There were a lot of selection matches for the same and every performance mattered the most to gain an entry. I successfully cleared those and it was an absolute privilege to represent the side. I started making good gains and went on to represent Mumbai U-19, U-22 and U-25 sides.

Q. Few words on your brothers Sandeep and Mundeep? How supportive were they in shaping your role as a better batsman?

Shrideep: Sandeep is my eldest and Mundeep is my immediate elder brother. Both of them being all-rounders, used to give a lot of throwdowns in the nets. It was really an advantage to bat better with their continuous feedbacks and helped me to improve my game.

My Dad is currently running  Mangela cricket academy in Mumbai and my elder brother Sandeep is volunteering him.

Q. You represented Mumbai in five Ranji matches. How proud are you to represent such a successful franchise?

Shrideep:  Very proud actually. It was my dad’s dream to see me play in higher levels of cricket. I reached Ranji trophy but his dream was to see us in a blue jersey (Internationals). I really can’t explain that experience but I am putting my full effort to come out in flying colours going forward.

I made my high score of 55 in my debut innings and I would like to credit my coach Pravin Amre for that. He asked me to play just like another club match and it really helped me to do better. It was a match against Baroda where Munaf Patel and Irfan Pathan were all guns blazing on the field.

(Pic Source: Shrideep Mangela)

Q. You were roped into Rajasthan Royals in the inaugural edition of IPL! A new threat to the Indian fans and how was that specific moment?

Shrideep: It was the best thing happened to me in my life. There was a talent hunt going on and I was fortunate enough to get shortlisted to get a chance in the league. Five players from each state were called for the screening. Greg Chappell organized this specific camp for a period of 10 days at Cricket Star Academy, Jaipur.

Q. You have crowned the champions in the inaugural edition! Shane Warne! How did he create an impact in the squad?

Shrideep: I had my first meet with him in 2009 IPL in South Africa. Though as I was roped into the squad in 2008, I wasn’t allowed to stay with the team ( I was a part but not in the dugout). But 2009 IPL is the one what I had a better exposure.

When I met him for the first time, it was like hanging out with a long time friend. He used to bowl me in the nets and advised me not to take pressure at any moment.

We had a practice game against Cape Cobras and that was my first exposure to IPL. The environment created such an enthusiasm among the players.

Q. The inaugural Mumbai T20 league! North Mumbai panthers under the leadership of Rahane! Surely a period to cherish? How do you welcome this move from MCA?

Shrideep: This is not the first time I am playing with Rahane. I have opened with him since I was 17. We played together for states, west zone and National cricket academy for some time.

He is now the world’s best batsman as you know, playing this league motivated several youngsters under him and provided a vital breakthrough for our careers. This is really a good initiative from MCA to promote local talents. Though it was planned a few years back, the things executed now and we are really content with it. We hope this would develop from now by giving better chances for club players.

(Pic Source: Shrideep Mangela)

Q. Barring Rahane, who are the other players you have played with and a couple of words on your moments with them.

Shrideep: I  played with Ravindra Jadeja, Rohit Sharma, Rahane and Pujara for the West Zone. We were roommates and we won that championship against North Zone in 2006-07. It was a pleasure sharing the dressing room with them.

(Then he had one word for each one of them.)

Rohit Sharma – Power hitter

Ravindra Jadeja – Gamechanger

Cheteshwar Pujara – Run Machine

Ajinkya Rahane – Team man

Q. MCA is known for its variety of leagues in a year. One such league is Dr. H. D. Kanga cricket league! What kind of platform did it provide to enhance your skillsets?

Shrideep: I am playing for National Cricket Academy now. Previously I represented Karnatak sporting association (Six years ago). It’s a completely different format than the T20’s. It’s more about the patience and character on the field not trying to give your wicket. It was an absolute privilege to play with Wasim Jaffer. He is one of the most humble persons I have ever met. Whether you are a spectator or a cricketer, he treats the same.

Q. I have seen your WhatsApp display picture! You are such a fitness freak! What’s your regime? Any special training plans you follow?

Shrideep: Basically, I come from a fisherman family. You see, my dad even now he remains so fit at his age (close to 65).  I am staying at Juhu. I run at Juhu Beach every morning to keep myself light.

Q. How well is Mumbai Cricket Association aiding the youngsters?

Shrideep: “A variety of tournaments”. That’s what brings a difference between MCA and other associations. Even if you have failed to represent the state team, there are a plenty of leagues for the youngsters to go out and play. It gives a chance to prove your capability to make an entry to other higher level formats.

(Pic Source: Shrideep Mangela)

Q. Which is your favourite international game till now?

Shrideep: That particular match where Dinesh Karthik saved us from an embarrassing defeat. We were discussing while watching the match, “Miandad hit a six off the last ball once. It will be too good if Karthik does the same.”

Q. Any memorable moments with MS Dhoni/Virat Kohli?

Shrideep: I have played against Virat Kohli (who represented North zone alongside Ishant Sharma, Piyush Chawla) and we won that final 2006-07 Under 19 for the west zone and it was the only time I met him. It’s my dream to bat with him but I haven’t had any moments with captain cool.

Q. You are a left-hand batsman. There will always be a personal favourite shot for every player. What’s yours?

Shrideep: Cover drive is my liking but sweep shot is my best. Was scared to play sweep shot initially, but now I am executing it thoroughly.

Let’s play a rapid-fire now

Favourite cricketer: Virat Kohli

Favourite opposition player: David Warner

One word about Shane Warne: Legend

Favourite food: fish and prawns

Favourite holiday destination: I don’t go out often (chuckles).

Favourite ground in Mumbai: Wankhede

Favourite IPL franchise: Mumbai Indians

Mom’s pet /Dad’s pet: Mom. I am still scared of dad (smiles)

Favourite bike: Harley Davidson

Given a chance against which team you would like to play at an international venue: at Perth vs Australia

Hobbies: I play with my five-year-old kid at home

Q. Your goals and aspirations

Shrideep: Whatever be the age, for a cricketer it’s a dream to represent the country. I am 30 now and hoping to fulfill that. Those are my long-term goals. But my short-term goals are to make a comeback to the Ranji squad again by shining in club cricket.

Just when I was about to finish the call, just heard “Prashanth” from Shrideep. I said “yes” then he started speaking

I would like to credit one person for shaping me into a better cricketer other than my grandpa and Pravin Amre. Mohinder Amaranth. He was my guardian. 16 years back, he used to come to our home without any prior notice just by crossing the small streets in Mumbai. He used to train us at Gymkhana cricket club. He gave free entry to all three of us (including brothers).

My dad is still in contact with him. He is presently at Goa. Sunil Chaturvedi, the Ranji match referee used to be with him and track my progress. I am glad that they provided better assistance to us.

We from Cricfit, wish him all the very best for his future endeavors.

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