The day after Shivam Dube hit headlines for his five successive sixes in a Ranji Trophy game, the Mumbai all-rounder was bought by Royal Challengers Bangalore for Rs 5 crore in the IPL auction. His close friends quipped how he got one crore for each of the sixes he hit off Swapnil Singh in the game against Baroda at Wankhede Stadium. Dube was among the few uncapped players who was on franchises’ radar.
Back at his home in suburban Mumbai, well-wishers continue to drop in and phones haven’t stopped ringing. Shivam says his father Rajesh had called all his friends to watch the IPL auction live from his home. His family isn’t new to getting droves of people at their home: his uncle Ramesh Dube was a minister in Maharashtra government and later a Member of Parliament from Uttar Pradesh.
“People coming to my house is nothing new because as I child I have seen many people waiting down in my building compound. My uncle Ramesh Dube is a politician. My father had called everyone at home, his friends used to bowl to me in the nets when I was growing up. You can call them net bowlers! My father wanted me to celebrate this moment with them,” Dube told The Indian Express. His father Rajesh, who had wanted his son to become a cricketer, had built private nets for his son at a nearby ground for him. When the IPL auction began and two franchises RCB and Mumbai Indians were showing interest on Mumbai’s young all-rounder, Shivam says his heart started to beat fast.
“I wasn’t expecting to go for such a whopping amount. I knew I will get picked and a few franchises will show interest in me but didn’t think that I will go for such a big amount,” he says.
Shivam will now get a chance to interact with Indian captain Virat Kohli at RCB. Like Kohli, Dube is too trying to follow a strict fitness regime. A few weeks ago, Dube had met Indian team trainer Shankar Basu after former Indian player and current selector Jatin Paranjpe had put in a word for him. Basu has been the man behind Kohli’s much-admired fitness.
“I didn’t come through a proper system. I was not playing cricket from 14 to 19 years, It was due to personal reasons but some six years ago my father decided that I should continue the game. So I need to work on my fitness. It was Jatin sir who got me in touch with Basu, who told me to continue the same fitness regime as cricket season is on. I will meet him again during off-season. Now I will get chance to play with Virat Kohli, it will be a big learning experience for him,” he said.
He cues up a memory from when he was six — how a helper in his house stopped throwing down balls to him as he was always hitting them outside the building. “He told my father that I keep hitting it outside and that he has to keep running out to retrieve the balls.” His father didn’t believe that a six-year-old had such power and so, he volunteered to throw some balls down, and to his surprise, the kid was still doing the same. That incident made the father decide that he should support the boy through his cricket dreams. Dube remembers the day when Chandrakant Pandit former India player and coach telling his father, “Dube ji, aap apne bete ko kya khilate ho (what do you feed your son), he hits such big sixes!”
It’s those monstrous sixes that have now made him the boy to watch out for.