Bisla, the knight in shining armour

Knight Riders batsman Manvinder Bisla bats during the IPL final match between Kolkata Knight Riders and  Chennai Super Kings at MA Chidambaram stadium  in Chennai.  (Photo by Santosh Harhare / Hindustan Times)

It's your wife's birthday, you're searching around for a gift. Chances are you'll go with those old favourites - a diamond rock, dinner at a fancy restaurant or an impromptu bash. Kolkata Knight Riders IPL-winning batsman Manvinder Bisla, however, had a special gift of his own for his wife - the IPL winner's trophy.

Before boarding the return flight for Kolkata, Arpita revealed how this year she got the best birthday present of her life.

“I’d followed a few matches this season and went to Kolkata, Jaipur and Mohali with the team.

“However, since we have a year-old-daughter (Aahana), I couldn't stay away from home for long intervals. I flew in for the final on Saturday. I didn't even have a clue he would play because these decisions are taken hours before the match,” she said.

Special gift
Sharing her birthday with Australian stalwart Mike Hussey, who got a fifty on his 37th birthday, and Ravi Shastri, who turned fifty and was presented a commemorative cheque for his distinguished services by the BCCI, Arpita felt the gift topped even her wildest expectations.

“I got the IPL trophy as a birthday gift, nothing can top that,” she said.

Sitting with Rajat Bhatia’s better half, Neha Choudhary, and Gautam Gambhir’s wife, Natasha, Mrs Bisla was caught unawares when she saw her husband’s name crop up on the KKR team sheet.

His blitz, however, was hardly a surprise. She'd expected him to come good when his moment arrived, and he did so in grand style.

Working-class hero
Residing in Gurgaon's Sector 23, she also gave an insight into the effort the KKR wicketkeeper had put in over the years.

“He is employed with Air India through the sports quota, so when the Ranji season is not on, or he's not representing AI in corporate tournaments, he goes to the Air India office at Safdarjung Airport. His shift timings are from 9am to 1pm.

“As soon as he returns, he goes to Chiranjeev Bharati Public School in Gurgaon, where he works on his fitness and trains in both searing heat and freezing cold,” she said.

Arpita also shed light on Bisla’s name cropping up in the recent TV sting, which saw five players being suspended for spot-fixing. Bisla was among the few who refused to take the TV channel’s bait.

“That had been playing on his mind and he was very disheartened when this news broke, because he’s been honest his entire life, he didn’t even want to be mentioned in the same breath as the accused.”

TV journalists won’t attempt to lure him in a TV sting anytime soon. Advertisers? Now that’s a different story altogether.


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