MI Sensation Akash Madhwal Banned From Local Tennis Ball Tournaments, Brother Cites 'Dar Ka Mahoul'

Mumbai Indians unearthed a new gem as pacer Akash Madhwal bagged a 5-wicket haul for the franchise, playing a pivotal role in the team's victory over Lucknow Super Giants in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 Eliminator.

As the cricketing fraternity went ga-ga over the emergence of another pace bowling gem from the Mumbai Indians, Madhwal's brother shared some interesting anecdotes from the seamer's cricketing background. In fact, Akash's brother Ashish revealed that the MI star is banned from playing cricket in his hometown as he has become too dangerous to play against.

Ashish, in a chat with India Today, credited MI skipper Rohit Sharma for helping Akash take the next leap forward. 

Words from Akash's brother

"The thing with Rohit bhai is that he gives players chances. He trusts his players and backs them. A new player is always scared for his position in the team. And Rohit has taken away that scare and Akash is delivering now," Ashish said.

"When he was working after his engineering, people would come every day and say don't go to work today, come play in our team and we will pay you. And from there he transitioned to the leather ball after his trials at Uttarakhand," one of Akash's local friends said during the chat.

Akash, who primarily played tennis ball cricket, had become too good for the level. Hence, he was banned from local tournaments as people were afraid to face him.

"Nobody let him play here. There was a lot of fear of his bowling. So, he was banned from the local tournaments. Dar ka mahoul tha (there was fear all around). Akash used to go outside of Roorkee and play," Ashish said.

At present, however, Ashish is extremely happy to see his brother gaining popularity all over the country.

"But yeah, his tennis ball days are done. He is so, so happy right now," the elated elder brother added.

"Rohit Sharma takes 50 percent of his tensions. Just look at the bond that they share (points to TV)," Ashish concluded.

Recent performance and rare feat

Madhwal also matched the legendary Anil Kumble for the most economical five-wicket score in the IPL.

Madhwal has given a solid account of himself in the IPL 2023, picking up 13 wickets from seven matches. Madhwal has the second-best strike rate (9.92) among bowlers this season, only behind England’s Mark Wood. He will be seen in action against the Gujarat Titans in Qualifier 2 on Friday, May 26.