Dinesh Salunkhe’s callertune on his cellphone could aptly reflect his present mood. ‘Zindagi toh bewafa hain, ek din thukraayegi’ from the Amitabh Bachchan hit film Muqaddar ka Sikander blares when you call the Mumbai leg-spinner.
“I have had this song for three years now, it is my favourite number,” Salunkhe told HT, shooting down suggestions of a change after being sent back from South Africa. “It’s got nothing to do with not being part of the team,” he added.
Salunkhe forged a close relationship with Shane Warne during last year’s IPL and played six matches, picking up one wicket. If Salunkhe is disappointed, he sure isn’t showing it, and there wasn’t even a comforting word from skipper Warne.
“He (Warne) said: ‘You are not selected’. Nothing else,” said Salunkhe.
“It’s okay. I will concentrate on doing well for the next season. Before leaving for SA, I had plans to do well in the IPL,” said Salunkhe. Despite the treatment, Salunkhe has no thoughts of switching loyalties. “My heart will always remain with Rajasthan Royals.”
Salunkhe came to the spotlight as a 24-year-old through a cricket reality show in 2007, Cricket Star, where he finished runners-up. The Mumbai Ranji team has, however, continued to elude him.
“Nothing seems to go well with selection, be it for Mumbai or Rajasthan Royals,” the Air India bowler said. “But that is not in my hands. I can only work hard and strive to do well.”
Another of the players sent back, Anup Revandkar, said: “My cricket does not stop.” The 21-year-old accepted that he did not impress during the practice game and open nets before to the tournament. “We knew that the team was to be reduced from 27 to 18. You have to accept your luck,” he said.
The five Chennai Super Kings players, all from the city itself, seem to have also accepted their luck.
Among them is the left-handed explosive batsman S Vidyut, who played nine matches last year with moderate success. "He (Vidyut) has taken it in the right spirit. He is determined to do well in the coming season," said Vidyut's father, V. Sivaramakrishnan.
Most of these 14 have shown that there is more to life than just IPL.