But things haven’t always been this great for the Pandya family. As Krunal says, “I have to keep pinching myself every 10-15 days to believe that this is actually real, that this is our life now.”
Growing up in a middle-class family in Vadodra, Gujarat, resources weren’t easy to come by. Krunal recalls, “At that time a good-quality English willow bat was at least Rs. 7000-8000, which was a huge amount then. Plus, both Hardik and I were playing, so my father had double the responsibility on his shoulders.”
In fact, the Pandya brothers faced a shortage of bats right up to the time they were playing at the Ranji Trophy level. Krunal says, “I remember when we were playing for Vadodra in the Vijay Hazare tournament. Hardik had one bat which was gifted to him by Irrfan Pathan, and I had another. Just before a crucial game, Hardik’s bat broke. He was batting at number 3 while I was batting at 6. Hardik decided to take my bat and go into the game.”
Krunal recalls, “It so happened that Hardik was still on the crease and I had to go out to bat next. And I didn’t even have a bat. I finally found a teammate with a spare bat and requested him to give it to me. That’s how bad things were even at the Ranji Trophy level.”
Of course, today is a different story as both brothers play for the Indian team, have been auctioned off for handsome amounts at the IPL, and have several endorsements under their belt. Yet, the journey of struggle is something Krunal is unlikely to forget.
To know more about the Pandya brothers and their unique cricketing journey, watch the tell-all webisode featuring Krunal Pandya on Cricbuzz’s new show Spicy Pitch. The show dropson Saturday, the 11th of April, on Cricbuzz website as well as app.
Krunal Pandya is known to be a calm, fairly sorted cricketer. But when it comes to his personal life, the all-rounder has a whole different side. And who would know this better than his wife, model and event manager Pankhuri Sharma?
In a no-holds-barred webisode of Cricbuzz’s new show Spicy Pitch, Sharma reveals the most special details of her exciting courtship and even more exciting wedding.
Sharma says, “I still remember the crazy way in which Krunal proposed to me. It was the night after the IPL final in 2017 — not only did Mumbai Indians win the match, but Krunal was the ‘Man of the Match’. It was a big night for everyone. Hardik and I were sitting in Krunal’s room when he came into the room singing. I remember thinking that he seemed like he was in a great mood. Soon, many Mumbai Indians players followed him into the room. I still had no idea what was happening until he got me to stand up and asked me to marry him. I was so shocked because never in my life I had thought Krunal would do something so romantic!”
But wasn’t it risky to ask Pankhuri to marry him in a room full of fellow cricketers? What if she’d said no? Pandya quips, “Sometimes when you’re batting you just know where the bowler is going to bowl to you, and this was exactly like that. I was quite sure that she would say ‘yes’.”
Just as crazy and exciting as the proposal, was the couple’s actual wedding. They tied knot in December 2017, and the celebration was nothing short of a Bollywood movie!
Sharma recalls, “Everyone thinks of Krunal as a very mature sorted guy— and he is when he needs to be. But on an everyday basis, he’s this crazy fun-loving person, as is Hardik. The wedding was one occasion where we all forgot everything and just had an absolute blast! In fact, Krunal’s family is Gujarati only in terms of the food they eat — in their behaviour, they’re just as fun-loving as Punjabis!”
If that’s not wedding goals, we’re not sure what is. To know more fun details about Krunal Pandya’s personal life as well as his cricketing journey, tune into the latest episode of Cricbuzz’s Spicy Pitch. The episode drops on Saturday, the 11th of April, on Cricbuzz website as well as app.