Ajaz gifts 10-wicket haul ball, Test jersey to MCA for upcoming museum at Wankhede Stadium

Ajaz Patel

The ball with which New Zealand left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel bagged all 10 Indian wickets during the first innings of the Mumbai Test will be displayed at the upcoming museum at the iconic Wankhede Stadium. Ajaz, who became only the third cricketer after England’s Jim Laker and India’s Anil Kumble to scalp all 10 wickets in a single Test innings, also gifted his match jersey to the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA).

The 33-year-old, incidentally born in Mumbai, scripted history at his home in what went under his record as an away Test, returning with exceptional figures of 47.5-12-119-10, followed by a four-fer in the second innings. Although, he also became the first to script the feat in a losing cause as India defeated the visitors by a massive 372-run margin to clinch the series 1-0.

Ajaz, meanwhile, was honoured by the Indian team, as they presented him a signed jersey after his incredible feat, while he was also felicitated by MCA president Dr Vijay Patil.

A big occasion for me and my family, to be able to do that here in Mumbai is very special,” Ajaz said after the match.

A lot of hard work has gone for me (going into the Test). Have spent plenty of time in isolation and need to recover. A different challenge back home, but that’s the beauty of Test cricket – different roles, different challenges and the need to bowl in a different manner. I can’t express in words, something in my career which was an overwhelming moment, have a lot of people to thank when I go back home. Feel lucky to have achieved something special,” he added.

Ajaz’s teammate Rachin Ravindra, another left-arm spinner of Indian origin and the only other wicket-taker for his team in the Mumbai Test, lauded him for his remarkable achievement.

I think it is amazing to be sharing the ends with this great man (Ajaz) here. But amazing to learn from and see what he did in the first innings. That was something incredible and something we won’t see for a very long time,” Ravindra said.

Interestingly, it was this duo that denied India a victory in Kanpur by blocking out 52 balls in fading light on the final day. Ravindra had a role to play in Ajaz’s 10-fer too, as he plucked the final catch to cap off Ajaz’s haul.

That’s probably the most nervous I have been under the high ball (referring to Ajaz’s 10th wicket) and it was spinning so much, I was crapping my pants… but all credit goes to Ajaz for picking 10 wickets. I could see all my teammates celebrating and it was a pressure catch,” he said after the conclusion of the Mumbai Test.

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