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Sonnet Express from Delhi: The story of Mayank Yadav

Sonnet Express from Delhi: The story of Mayank Yadav. On his debut for LSG, Mayank Yadav took 3-27 against Punjab Kings. Mayank Yadav clocked 155 kph on his IPL debut.

IPL 2024: Mayank Yadav clocked 155 kph on his IPL debut. The story of pacer Mayank Yadav. | _ Walking Wicket (Images: ©IPL/X)
IPL 2024: Mayank Yadav clocked 155 kph on his IPL debut (Images: ©IPL/X)

In the heart of Lucknow, on Saturday, Mayank Yadav emerged as a beacon of hope and excitement. Discovered by the keen gaze of Tarak Sinha, the mentor behind the rise of talents like Rishabh Pant, Mayank's journey to the limelight began at the tender age of 13. 

Saturday night at Ekana Stadium witnessed a spectacle as Mayank, armed with blistering pace, sent shockwaves through the Punjab batting lineup. Jonny Bairstow, renowned for his dominance against pace bowling, found himself caught off guard as Mayank unleashed a barrage of deliveries that seemed hard to counter. 

His debut spell of 3/27 was a testament to his raw talent and unyielding determination. Notably, one delivery stood out, clocking an astonishing 155.8 kmph.

In a matter of minutes, Mayank transitioned from a promising newcomer to the toast of the nation. With his electrifying debut, he surely has cemented his place not just in the present, but also in the promising future of Indian cricket.

Is it an overnight success for Mayank or did years of hard work pay off?

Mayank’s journey from a frail teenager to a fearsome fast bowler mirrors the aspirations and struggles of countless ordinary Indians. Raised in a middle-class household, Mayank's father, Prabhu Yadav, toiled tirelessly at a factory producing sirens for ambulances and police vehicles, all with the singular aim of supporting his son's cricketing dreams.

It was at this Sonnet Club in Venkateshwara College, Delhi, where Prabhu Yadav witnessed the blossoming talent of his son firsthand. Reminiscing on a pivotal moment when Mayank was just 14 years old, Prabhu, a fan of West Indies pace legend Curtly Ambrose, imparted a crucial lesson to his son. He recounted Ambrose's intimidation tactics, emphasizing the effectiveness of aiming at the batter's head to instil fear.

In that simple yet profound exchange, a seed was planted in Mayank's mind, fuelling his determination to excel as a fast bowler. Prabhu Yadav said to PTI “If Ustaadji and Devender bhai had not been around, my son wouldn't have come this far. I wanted him to play cricket but they prepared him for all the big tests." He expressed immense gratitude towards the late Tarak Sinha, affectionately known as Ustaadji, and the current head coach, Devender Sharma, of the renowned Sonnet Club. 

IPL 2024, LSG vs PBKS_ Mayank Yadav bowls at 150+ Kph and took 3-27 against Punjab _ Walking Wicket (Images_ ©IPL_X)
Mayank bowled at 150+ Kph and took 3-27 against Punjab (Images: ©IPL/X)
What does the coach have to say about his student Mayank?

"People who follow the IPL might have only witnessed Mayank's brilliance yesterday, but those keeping a keen eye would recall his impressive performance in last year's Deodhar Trophy, where he delivered a staggering 155-kmph delivery," exclaimed Devender to PTI, the mentor credited with nurturing talents like Rishabh Pant.

Reflecting on Mayank's journey, Devender revealed that last year, Mayank had anticipated his IPL debut twice and even reached out to him with excitement, only to be disappointed. However, today, seeing Mayank succeed fills him with immense joy. 

Devender reminisced about Mayank's humble beginnings when his father, a small-time businessman from Delhi's Okhla, brought him to the esteemed Sonnet Club at the age of 14. "Though he appeared frail and lacked proper equipment, at Sonnet Club, talent always outweighs resources," Devender emphasized to PTI. "Even at 15, despite his physical limitations, Mayank showcased above-average pace for his age group, a testament to his relentless dedication."

Devender also shared that Rishabh Pant, his most notable protégé, had expressed interest in recruiting Mayank for the Delhi Capitals, but the move was thwarted by the Lucknow Super Giants.

Mayank’s noteworthy performances in the domestic circuit

Mayank's recent performances in white-ball cricket have undoubtedly caught the attention of many. During the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, he showcased his bowling talent by claiming 5 wickets in 4 matches, emerging as Delhi's standout bowler in the semifinal despite the team's loss. Similarly, in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, he proved his mettle with 6 wickets in 5 games.

Before these tournaments, Mayank had already made waves in the 2023 Deodhar Trophy. Representing the North Zone, his blistering pace troubled batters resulting in an impressive haul of 12 wickets in 5 matches, boasting an outstanding average of just 17.58.

Despite his burgeoning talent, Mayank's exposure to first-class cricket has been limited. His debut in this format occurred against Maharashtra during the Ranji Trophy in December 2022, but due to injury had to miss the rest of the tournament.

What does the future look like for the speedster?

Mayank Yadav had attracted the attention of selectors for the recent Test series against England. Unfortunately, sidelined by a strain, his inclusion was deferred with hopes of recovery by January's end.

Recognized as an exceptional talent, Mayank stands as a potential candidate for an exclusive pace bowling contract akin to Aakash Deep, Umran Malik, or Vijaykumar Vyshak. However, concerns regarding his susceptibility to injuries linger, necessitating a demonstration of durability across formats, including the full IPL season and Ranji Trophy.

Although currently viewed as a white-ball prospect until he participates in the Ranji Trophy, Mayank's trajectory is contingent upon proving his mettle in India A and smaller bilateral encounters. Additionally, the introduction of the fast-bowling contract this year highlights a promising avenue for nurturing and safeguarding the development of such raw talents.

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