Bat is the most important and powerful weapon of any cricketer. The type of bat has changed a lot and the manufacturers have also improved their skills. However, the bat fixers are still in living the traditional method itself.
Wankhede stadium has been one of the iconic grounds of Indian cricket. The stadium has seen all the biggest superstars coming down the stairs to the field and all the biggest moments of Indian cricket. One thing that never changes in Wankhede is the love for cricket and iconic Ashraf Choudhary, the bat fixer who owns a shop in front of the Metro Cinema.
Ashraf has fixed the bats of Sachin Tendulkar to Virat Kohli and Steve Smith to Faf Du Plessis. The bat to a batsman is like ‘wand to Harry Potter’. It has to perfect and most suited to his batting style. Choudhary has fixed bats since the 70s and his experience just changes a broken-bat to do wonders. He would fix damaged bats, transform them, shave off wood to reduce weight or trim the handle fringes as per desires of the hard-to-please batsmen.
The pandemic COVID-19 has changed everybody’s life. Ashraf is also admitted in the hospital in Mumbai Suburban. It is not Coronavirus that hospitalized him, it is kidney stones and other health complications due to growing age. Prashant Jethmalani, one of his wellwishers is helping Ashraf to raise funds but it is quite difficult considering the conditions.
“His situation is not good. There was some kidney stone-related problem, which has resurfaced again and there are other complications too. The lockdown means his business took a major hit as cricket has completely come to standstill in the city. He doesn’t have funds; whatever he has, it’s over,” Jethmalani was quoted saying in a conversation with The Indian Express.
“We managed around two lakhs but we need more. We also want to raise some funds for him for his sustenance in the near future,” he adds.
In 2016, he donated 16 bats to the entire West Indies squad
Ashraf’s life changed completely this year. His brother passed away 2 months back and due to lockdown his staff of the shop which is running from 1920, went home. The financial crunch also started because of the lockdown as nobody is asking for bats these days.
The bat fixer has helped a lot of cricketers without any money as well. In 2016, during the T20 World Cup, he donated 16 bats to the entire West Indies squad when he heard about the financial tussle between the Caribbean players and their board. Prasant reckons that it’s now the turn of cricketers to help the man whose detailed workmanship assisted them in their time of need.
“Nobody is asking for bats these days and with IPL happening abroad, there will be no work for Ashraf. The sad part is that many players owe him money but they haven’t paid him yet. Ashraf till date has never asked money from them,” Jethmalani concluded.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
- ‘You need to have some logic in the question’ – Virat Kohli to journalist when asked about Ravi Ashwin’s white-ball comeback
- India vs England: Virat Kohli confirms Team India’s openers for the first T20I
- Virat Kohli picks favourites for T20 World Cup 2021
- IND vs ENG: 1st T20I, Match Prediction- Who will win today’s match?
- India move to second spot in the latest ICC T20I team rankings