Rachin Ravindra Breaks Silence On Likely Lucrative IPL Contract, Love For Cricket And Playing For Black Caps
Rachin Ravindra. (Image: X)
New Zealand’s rising all-rounder Rachin Ravindra said that he picked up cricket naturally because of his father’s love for it. Ravindra emerged as one of the biggest stars of the recently concluded ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, ending as the fourth-highest run-getter with 578 runs in 10 matches at an average of 106.44, with three centuries and two fifties.
In an interview with ESPNCricinfo, Rachin said that his dad used to play club cricket and the sport was always around his house in some way or the other, causing him to pick the game naturally as a child. He recalled practicing with his parents using a plastic ball.
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“I think so (if he picked cricket because of his father). Dad played club cricket, he watched a lot of cricket, played it on PlayStation as well. It was always on around the house all the time. Naturally, I picked it up. Mum and Dad would always throw me plastic balls. I always wanted to bat or bowl. It accumulated to where I am today. They never forced me to play cricket at all. It happened naturally. I really enjoyed playing cricket with my mates. I enjoyed going to the nets every day, hitting and bowling balls. I guess that’s how it happened,” said Rachin.
Rachin recalled that spin-bowling all-rounder Daniel Vettori was his hero growing up.
“I tried to model my action around him. He was an unbelievable bowler. The amount of drop he got, his consistency. I definitely love watching him bowl,” said Rachin.
Rachin said that he got to catch up with both sides of his family during his visit to India for the World Cup. “I got to catch up with both sides of my family. My grandparents on my mom’s side, my uncle and aunty. It was nice to connect with them after a little while. It was a little feeling of home in a different country. I get to see them when I do go to India,” said the all-rounder.
On ending up as the fourth-highest run-maker in the World Cup, Rachin said that he is grateful to play matches in the World Cup and that seeing his name among world-class cricketers is cool. “Honestly though, it is not the complete reason why I play cricket. It is nice but not necessary that I play for personal accolades. You play to push the team forward. Whatever results come as part of the process and journey is a bonus,” added the all-rounder.
About his conversations with skipper Kane Williamson, Rachin called him a good leader and pointed out that his leadership was huge even when he was on the sidelines recovering from his injury.
“There was not anything too crazy. Kane is such a good leader. He does what he speaks. He acts what he speaks. Even when he was not playing, his leadership was huge. The message from the team environment was to do your own processes. Trust the process. A lot of the time in cricket, the results can be very up and down. You control what you can control – how you prepare and how you go about it ball after ball. Whatever the result is, you can sit back and say: I gave it my best,” said Rachin.
He also said that spin-bowling all-rounder Mitchell Santner has an “unbelievable brain” for cricket.
“His left-arm spin-bowling knowledge is through the roof. He is a world-class bowler. You see the amount of revs he gets on the ball. The beauty of it all is that he is this calm guy who does not go up or down at all. He goes about his work, bowls the right ball. Makes for a very cool idol to aspire to,” he added.
Rachin said that his life has not really changed post-World Cup.
“I am still the same. I am Rachin. I enjoy the time with my teammates and family. Hopefully, nothing really changes that. I get a little bit more attention from people. They ask for photos and signatures. I have more presence online, or whatever it is. I think it is bound to happen when you have a few good games,” he added.
The all-rounder said that his dad is pretty proud of his performances in the tournament.
“Like everyone close to me, he was very happy, very proud. Dad seems to keep it very level. He keeps his cards close to his chest. Mum was very happy. You can feel the love and support from everyone. My big friend group watched every game. They talked about it in the group chat, which was really cool. I would read it at the end of the game. It made me feel the love of my good mates, my support from my family. It is special when you are playing a World Cup,” said Rachin.
On the possibility of getting an Indian Premier League (IPL) deal in the 2023 auction, Rachin said that “life and cricket have no guarantees” and his current focus is the series against Bangladesh.
“Whether it is noise or what is being reported, I think what is important, what matters right now is what series you have in front of you. There’s so much time to the IPL. There is no guarantee that I will get picked up [in the auction]. There are no guarantees in life and cricket. I am just focused on what’s in front of me: the Bangladesh Test series. You stay in the present, you savour those moments. Every moment I get to play for New Zealand, I am very, very grateful,” concluded Rachin.