Almost exactly at the same time the Kapil Dev-captained India was putting it across the seemingly unbeatable West Indies in the World Cup final 37 years ago on June 25 in 1983, wicket-keeper-batsman Akshay Wadkar and speedster Rajneesh Gurbani, architects of Vidarbha’s historic Ranji Trophy triumphs in 2017-18 and 2018-19, are tying the nuptial knots in Nagpur on Thursday. (More Cricket News)
These are no ordinary weddings; there is remarkable drama attached to these, apart from the coincidence of these weddings taking place on the 37th anniversary of India’s sensational World Cup victory against all odds, registered at Lord’s London. Wadkar and Gurbani, along with their Vidarbha teammate and spin bowling-all-rounder Aditya Sarwate, were to initially get married within 22 days of each other, between April 27 and May 18 – a unique occurrence for three members of a team. But coronavirus pandemic and the nationwide lockdown forced all three weddings to be postponed.
While Wadkar, 25, and Gurbani, 27, have taken advantage of the opening of the COVID-19-enforced lockdown to get wed, Sarwate, 30, has further postponed his wedding till December. However, there will be limited number of guests at both weddings, as per the government guidelines.
“I have finalised the wedding date and it is June 25. There will be 50 people present at the wedding,” Wadkar, who turns 26 on July 9, told Outlook. Sarwate said that they chose June 25 because it was a day of an “auspicious muhurat”.
Due to the clash of their wedding dates, Wadkar and Gurbani would not be able to attend each other’s ceremonies. And because of the restrictions on the number of people in a gathering Sarwate would not be present at either ceremony, despite both weddings taking place in Nagpur, as the Wadkar and Gurbani families alone would be making up the numbers. Wadkar said both haven’t decided on the date of the reception. But whenever the two are organised, they promise to be full of fanfare, something that was missing on June 25.
“Wadkar and Gurbani are getting married today because they do not require to travel outside Nagpur with their ‘baraats’. Their advantage is that their fiancées are based in Nagpur itself. I have postponed my wedding till December because my fiancée’s home town is Sagar in Madhya Pradesh, and we would require to travel that distance. And travelling these days is easy,” Sarwate told Outlook.
According their original plans, Aditya was to get married to Arunita, a bachelor hospital management degree holder, on April 27 – they were engaged on August 10, 2019 -- Akshay was to tie the nuptial knot with his former college classmate Shrutika, a Bachelor of Business Administration, on May 2, and Rajneesh was to wed Shivani on May 18.
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The three cricketers started in Vidarbha’s maiden Ranji Trophy triumph in 2017-18 and 2018-19.
Wicket-keeper Wadkar effected 23 dismissals and scored 395 runs in first-class matches in 2017-18 while in 2018-19, he scored 899 runs and effected 30 dismissals – most of those in Ranji Trophy – as Vidarbha lifted the Ranji title. Then, he effected 30 dismissals – besides scoring 499 runs – in the 2019-20 first-class season, but Vidarbha failed to complete the hat-trick of Ranji titles.
Gurbani captured 43 wickets at a brilliant average of 17.16 in seven first-class matches in 2017-18, including five five-wickets innings hauls and one 10-wicket return. In the Ranji Trophy, he bagged the Man-of-the-Match awards in the quarter-finals (7/68 vs Kerala), semi-finals (12/162 vs Karnataka), and the final (8/151). In the 2017-18 Ranji final, he broke Delhi’s back with a hat-trick, and the five-day match ended inside four days.
Sarwate scored 348 runs and took 32 wickets in seven first-class matches in 2017-18. In the next season, he snared 66 wickets at 21.39 – including seven five-wicket innings hauls and one 10-wicket match haul – and he scored 383 runs with the help of a century and a half-century. His career-best 11/157 came in the 2018-19 Ranji final against Saurashtra, besides a crucial 49 in the second innings. The all-round performance fetched him the Man-of-the-Match award.
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