Written by Sriram Veera | | Christchurch | | February 15, 2015 1:28:07 am
“I haven’t spoken to my wife yet.” It’s been over two hours since a nonchalant one-handed catch had made him a potential million-dollar man, but Sunjay Ganda’s wife was busy putting their second daughter to sleep. He did the second-best thing in the circumstance — he spoke to his mother-in-law.
And if his wife had called him back after hearing from her mom, she couldn’t have got through to him as he didn’t know where his phone was. “Probably still there somewhere in the grass, where I took the catch. I am going to get some money and go home! I have lots of beer to buy this evening.
Lots.” The 31-year-old, whose father had moved from Gujarat to New Zealand years ago, became the first man in this World Cup to get lucky in the ‘Tui Catch a Million’ promotion run by a beer company.
Even as another spectator dived across him to pouch the six from Kane Williamson, Sunjay, who works as a development manager with Canterbury Hockey association, managed to hold his composure and extend his right hand out. The rules dictate that it has to be a one-handed catch.
The promotion pool starts at $250,000 but for every stage the host nation New Zealand reaches in this tournament, the prize pool increases and it has a potential to reach million dollars if New Zealand win the final.
Sunjay will at least get $250,000; the total prize money will be shared among other first clean catchers in other games.Sunjay wasn’t even supposed to be sitting where he was. He had tickets to the upper tier over midwicket/cover boundary, but a last-minute change in plans has worked wonders.
“It’s a great story! I had two tickets for my father and me, but he got two more tickets from somewhere and told me to go with a friend.”
And so, Sunjay called up his mate Tim, who welcomed him at the stadium with two orange-coloured shirts of the beer brand, a pre-requisite for taking part in the contest. The rest is a blur of good luck and skill. Sometimes, life can read like a dreamy script. Not always, of course. Ask Hadleigh Fisher, the man who had dived in front of Sunjay but just couldn’t reach the ball, missing it by an inch. Hope, Sunjay bought him a beer at least.