A debut season that’s already successful and a special day coming together meant the Gujarat Titans had double reason to celebrate, and did so with plenty of laugher, companionship and bonhomie.
The gathering took place at the team hotel, but it had the feel of an extended family coming together, as games were played, jokes shared, and delectable Gujarati food was consumed.
Everyone came dressed in the traditional kurta, and the players were divided into two teams for the games. Captain Hardik Pandya led Team Jordan, while vice-captain Rashid Khan led Team Jabra.
The first game involved guessing the movie name from a famous dialogue in the film – with the added twist that this dialogue would be delivered in Gujarati by team manager Satyajit Parab. What added more fun to the occasion was that the movies were picked from Hollywood and Bollywood both. It took a while before Jayant Yadav of Team Jordan correctly guessed that “mane paisa batao” was Jerry McGuire’s famous “Show me the money” – to much cheering.
After a mightily competitive first round, the fun and competition quotient was increased with the next game: rapid dandiya for 45 seconds and answering IPL quiz questions.
The third game raised it a notch further. It was ABA Dubi, where teams picked up a sponge ball and had to nail the other team members with it. If it hit you, you were out. This was a game every player excelled at, all those hours of throwing down stumps, often with just one to aim at, paying off in a spectacularly fun fashion.
Hardik paid tribute to the occasion. “Being from Gujarat, obviously got a lot of success from Mumbai as well, so for me, it’s a very special day. Thank you all for coming and celebrating, and making sure you actually look wonderful in this attire,” he smiled.
“Today was the Gujarat Day celebrations. You can see a lot of people wearing kurtas which is so nice to see,” he added. “We had a good game session as well, where people enjoyed, laughed. To all the fans, thank you for loving us, thank you for supporting us. Keep cheering for us, we will always give our best and let’s see where we can go from here.”
The overseas players entered whole-heartedly into the spirit of the festivities, with Lockie Ferguson so taken by the kurta he had worn, that he vowed to take one back home with him.
"I really enjoyed wearing the kurta,” Ferguson said. “In fact, I’m taking one to wear it back home in New Zealand. It was great to get a peek into Gujarati culture. The food was delicious.”
The food – a rich spread of local Gujarati fare – was on display and sampled by everyone. David Miller, for one, relished it.
“It was great to celebrate Gujarat Day. All of us enjoyed the games - trying out the rapid dandiya especially. I also enjoyed trying out the dhokla, aamras and a lot more,” Miller said.