What's cricket got to do with cucumbers?

Decoding the slang of Mumbai cricket.

Akshay Sawai writing in the Open Magazine provides us glimpses of the lingua franca of Mumbai cricket:

Last month, Mumbai won a record 40th Ranji Trophy title. Mumbai cricketers may not dominate the national eleven as they used to through the 1970s and 1980s, and even earlier, but the city continues to occupy a special place in Indian cricket. And the flavoursome argot its cricketers speak—as evident in the phrase ‘Kaaranja udavne’—is no small part of that legacy.

This language does not always obey the spoiler called logic. Former Mumbai captain Amol Muzumdar laughs as he says, “We have something called ‘kaakdi’ shot. I have no idea why a shot should be named after a cucumber, but it is.”

A ‘kaakdi’ shot is a great shot, by the way. So is a ‘chaabuk’ shot. The distinction, according to Hemant Kenkre, former club-level player and cricket writer, is that Maharashtrian players in Mumbai cricket are likely to say ‘kaakdi’; and non-Maharashtrian more likely to say ‘chaabuk’.

Read the full article.