Most from the cricketing fraternity were in disbelief when Gujarat Lions (GL) skipper mentioned the name ‘Munaf’ at the toss against Mumbai Indians (MI), ahead of the 16th match of the 10th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Wankhede Stadium. Munaf Patel, a cult hero and one of India’s starts from the World Cup 2011 triumph is finally playing an IPL match after a gap of four years — 1,426 days to be precise. LIVE CRICKET SCORECARD: Mumbai Indians vs Gujarat Lions – Match 16
Munaf, who was brought by GL in the 2017 auction for INR 30 lakhs, is making his comeback against MI, the team he last played for. Munaf’s last appearance came against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the IPL 2013 Qualifier 1 at Feroz Shah Kotla on May 21, 2013. He was taken for cleaners by Mike Hussey and Raina as he ended up with figures of 3-0-32-0. MI however went on to win the tournament, and co-incidentally, after 1,426 days, Raina captains him. ALSO READ: Finch forgets kitbag, misses GL vs MI IPL 10 match!
With the news of Munaf playing for GL, Twitterati went berserk. Strangely, in-from GL batsman Aaron Finch missed out on playing this game due as his kit bag did not arrive on time. There was a time when cricketers played with borrowed kit-bags and there is a time now. Finch slammed a 19-ball 33 not out in GL’s win in the last encounter against Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS).
Finch lost his kit bag but Gujarat found Munaf Patel – so it’s even! #MIvGL
— Gaurav Kalra (@gauravkalra75) April 16, 2017
Munaf Patel is playing his first IPL match since 2013.
Earlier this season for GL, Gony also played his first IPL match since 2013.
— Bharath Seervi (@SeerviBharath) April 16, 2017
It is 1426 days since Munaf Patel last played an #IPL match: when he played in the 2013 Qualifier for MI v CSK & his captain today, Raina.
— Freddie Wilde (@fwildecricket) April 16, 2017
Wo aa gya… Wo aa gya…..
Ab jaake Dinda aur Mujhe thodi rahat milegi public se.
— Sir Ashish Nehra (@SirAshish_Nehra) April 16, 2017
Aaron Finch ruled out from today’s match because he has lost his kit bag…
First time hearing such thing in my life!
— Virat Kohli (@im_viratkohli18) April 16, 2017
Aaron Finch ruled out because he has lost the Kit bag…
Jason Roy replaced him and I suspect he must have misplaced Finch kit bag!
— Sarcastic Dude (@Sarcasticdudee) April 16, 2017
— Jatin Sapru (@jatinsapru) April 16, 2017
Aaron Finch missing this game because his kit bag didn’t arrive on time? LOL. Why don’t you borrow your teammate’s?
— Arjun Ashok (@arj_90) April 16, 2017
Coming back to Munaf, during his India playing days, he was extremely popular as he was perceived as a character. He was often criticised for his lethargy and body language. The 33-year-old (if we say so, Shane Warne, who was Munaf’s first IPL captain for Rajasthan Royals, had revealed Munaf was at least six years older to his official age) last played for India, in England, in September 2011.