Parthiv Patel © AFP
Parthiv Patel © AFP

Born March 9, 1985, Parthiv Ajay Patel is an Indian cricketer who keeps wickets and bats in the top order for Gujarat in domestic cricket. Standing at five feet three inches, Parthiv is amongst the shortest cricketers in international cricket. Besides his wicket-keeping and aggressive batting skills, he is more famous for his short-height, which often makes him a butt of jokes.  With his surprise comeback to India’s Test side, Abhishek Kumar digs out 15 interesting things about him.

1. Teenage prodigy

Parthiv made his international debut in August 2002 against England in the second Test at Nottingham. He was called after Ajay Ratra got injured in the first Test and played the role of wicketkeeper-batsman. He was only 17 years 152 days old then and became the youngest wicketkeeper in Test history by breaking the previous record of Hanif Mohammad — who made his debut at 17 years 300 days.

2. Team mascot

During his maiden tour of England in 2002, Parthiv led the side onto the stage for the Wisden Indian Cricketer of the Century Awards in London, where many assumed him as the team mascot.

3. Role model

Ever since he took up wicketkeeping, his role model has been none other than former Australian wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist.

4. Sledged Steve Waugh

In the year 2004, when Parthiv was still quite new to the team, he tried to sledge Steve Waugh during the Border-Gavaskar series Down Under. But it backfired for him. It was the fourth Test of the series and Waugh’s last international match. On the fourth day of the match, Waugh entered the ground and started his innings. In between, young Parthiv chirped from behind the wickets by saying, “Come on Steve, just one more of your popular slog-sweeps before you quit.” In return, Waugh came up with a classy reply and answered him, “Show a bit of respect. You were in nappies when I debuted 18 years ago.” After the episode, Parthiv was questioned by his senior teammates for his unwanted sledging against one of the greatest captains the game has seen.

5. Fined

In the same year, during the second Test between Pakistan and India at Lahore, Parthiv was fined 60 percent of his match fees after being charged with breaching Section 2.2 of the ICC Code of Conduct. He was reported to match referee Ranjan Madugalle by on field umpires Simon Taufel and Steve Bucknor as he was continuously appealing after every ball. The cameras also caught him swearing when one of his appeals went down.

6. Irritating

In the year 2014, South African cricketer AB de Villiers revealed in an interview with Times of India that Parthiv is the most irritating cricketer in the world and said, “He chats all the time. I’m glad I’m playing with him [for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in IPL] rather than against him.”

7. Trolled by Yuvraj

In June 2015, Parthiv tweeted something in praise of famous restaurant of Ahmedabad named — HONEST. In return, India’s one of the most fun loving cricketers Yuvraj Singh decided take a dig at him and trolled him with his tweets.



parthiv trolled by yuvi

8. Trolled himself

There have been many jokes made on Parthiv’s height but only his acceptance with the fact was left. He made it public by trolling himself after tweeting a picture of him and a ‘standing Dosa’, with which he was comparing his height. And guess what, instead of getting trolled many replied him sportingly for making fun of himself.

9. Bakra Parthiv

After being the part of India’s ICC Cricket World Cup 2003 team, Parthiv was quite famous as he was very young back then. Famous TV show MTV Bakra, which was a huge hit those days, decided to make fun of him by trapping him into a trouble situation and seeing how he copes up with it. Parthiv was then in Mumbai and took a cab to go somewhere. Meanwhile, the cab driver was not feeling well and asked him to drive. The moment he started driving, Parthiv was caught by Traffic Police, who made him do Push Ups and charged with a fine of INR 4000. It did not stops there, as the cops kept irritating him by teasing him on India’s loss in the final and asked him to give autographs.

After the cops agreed to leave him, Parthiv sat in the car and was very furious over the driver. He called his friend through whom he had got that cab. Meanwhile, the driver asked him if he could go to a chemist’s shop to get some medicine but Parthiv denied and asked him to leave him near a taxi. Somehow, Parthiv agreed and after few moments, he realised that he had been fooled by the famous MTV Bakra show all this while.

10. Comeback

Parthiv made his comeback into the Indian Test side after four years against Sri Lanka in August 2008. He batted in both the innings and scored only 13 and 1. After this, he was not called back into the Test side but after another two years, he was selected in the One-Day International (ODI) side against New Zealand in 2010. He started well with two back-to-back half-centuries and continued to perform decently till the ODI series in England. After that, once again his form dipped and finally Parthiv was dropped from the ODI side as well after 2011-12 Commonwealth Bank series in Australia.

11. Another comeback

Before the India-England 3rd Test at Mohali in 2016, Wriddhiman Saha’s injury paved way for Parthiv to make a Test comeback after 8 years. He last played Test for India in 2008. In between, he missed 83 consecutive Tests, which is the 10th-most consecutive matches to be missed by any player for any team.

12. Wife

Parthiv got married to his childhood friend Avni Zaveri on March 9, 2008, which was also his 23rd birthday. Avni is an interior designer based in Ahmedabad. The couple has a daughter named Venika.


13. Led Gujarat team to victory in Vijay Hazare Trophy 2015-16

In the 2015-16 edition of Vijay Hazare Trophy, Parthiv was the captain of Gujarat side. Under him, Gujarat reached final to play against Delhi. He was instrumental in winning the final match as he scored a brilliant century. Throughout the tournament, he was well supported by his team. Rujul Bhatt, Jasprit Bumrah, Axar Patel and RP Singh performed consistently and helped Parthiv lead the side to the title win.

14. Five Firsts of Parthiv

In an interview with ESPNCricinfo, Parthiv revealed about the five firsts of his life. Starting with his wicketkeeping skills, the very first time he failed to read a bouncer when he was just 14-year-old while attending a camp in Jamnagar and standing up to a spinner.

His first international stumping was of West Indian batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan after he failed to pick the doosra from Harbhajan Singh at Kolkata.

During the Headingley Test in 2002 against England, he dropped his first international catch as a wicketkeeper and that was of Nasser Hussain of Anil Kumble’s bowling. Later, Hussain went on to make century after being dropped by Parthiv at 10.

He bought his first pair of wicketkeeping gloves at the age of 14 — a pair of SG Tournament gloves for INR 700.

Parthiv met his Idol Gilchrist first during the 2003 World Cup group match in centurion and said about the meeting, “Before the match, I asked him to spend some time with me to talk about wicketkeeping. He said he would. The match was over quickly after India made just 125 and Gilchrist helped Australia knock off the runs easily. He had not forgotten my request and came over to the Indian dressing room looking for me. The biggest thing that stayed with me from our chat was that he told me to enjoy the game, because once you start worrying about stuff, you do not enjoy wicketkeeping and you do not back your instincts.”

15. Teams

Throughout his career, Parthiv has represented many teams, especially in IPL. Following is the list of teams he has played for — Gujarat, Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Kochi Tuskers Kerala (KTK), Deccan Chargers, Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), RCB, Rajasthan Cricket Association President’s XI, India Green, Mumbai Indians (MI) and India.

(Abhishek Kumar is a cricket devotee currently staffing with CricLife and He can be followed at @abhik2593)