Ish Sodhi, a part of the Northern Knights’ squad for the CLT20, has ensured his team will value him for more than just turning the ball.
Yet to recover from the late-night arrival from Mohali, the Northern Knights dragged themselves to the National Cricket Academy at Chinnaswamy Stadium for a nets session. To their horror, the wickets were covered and the groundsmen, unaware of the team’s practice, were reluctant to let the Kiwis practice. The language barrier did not help either.
“We were trying to get on with the nets but they were covered. We tried to get through to the groundsmen that we needed the nets for practice but they didn't seem to speak English!” Sodhi told HT.
Left with no option but to call it a day, the Knights discovered a hero in Sodhi. The 21-year-old from Ludhiana stepped in to get the ball rolling!
“I asked him (in Hindi) what time we’d get the nets. The groundsman assured me it would be done in 10-15 minutes. We got on with practice and it made things easier. I am happy to help that way!” said Sodhi.
Helping his teammates overcome the language barrier is a role Sodhi has come to accept. “To be honest, I’ve come on this trip as a player and translator. Half the boys, when they have trouble communicating with the locals, call me and I have to stand there and help out.”
You’d expect Sodhi to use his multi-lingual skills to the advantage of his teams — the Knights or Black Caps — while playing Indian teams. But the leg-spinner fears it could harm their cause.
“Yes, I understand what the Indians talk on the field, but I'm worried they may be setting a trap for me to tell my team something,” he remarked.
“During the 2010 under-19 World Cup, I would talk to Harmeet Singh and Kamal Passi in Punjabi and my teammates never liked it because they wouldn't understand!”