Man who 'caught' Joe Root is Mumbai police's fielding coach

Mar 21, 2016, 11:00 IST | Harit N Joshi

Constable Amol Ghodake, whose stunning one-handed effort in the Eng-SA match at Wankhede earned him the Play-of-the-Day honour from ICC, is a player-cum-fielding coach for Greater Mumbai Police team

One of the standout moments between the England and South Africa clash at the Wankhede Stadium on Friday was the splendid one-handed catch taken behind the boundary by a policeman, Amol Ghodake.

Constable Amol Ghodake
Constable Amol Ghodake

With England needing 38 off 23 balls to win, Joe Root slammed one straight down the ground off South Africa's pacer Kyle Abbott’s second delivery en route his match-winning knock of 83.

Amol Ghodake (circled) plucked this catch out of thin air
Amol Ghodake (circled) plucked this catch out of thin air

Although the ball got the required distance to clear the rope, Ghodake (38), who is a constable with Mumbai Police, judged it so well that he only had to stretch his right hand out to catch it. Ghodake’s judgment was so precise that he didn’t even require to move his feet.

That evening, wearing his cricket team’s uniform, Ghodake was manning the sightscreen area to ensure no one comes near the screen while the ball is being bowled.

Ghodake’s splendid catch earned him praise from the commentators not just during the match, but after it too. “VVS Laxman sir asked a few people who took the catch. When we met, he told me it was a great catch and gave me a thumbs up gesture. I wanted to click a picture with him, but he got busy with his broadcasting duty,” a star-struck Ghodake, who is a player-cum-fielding coach for Greater Mumbai Police team.

He was a part of the Shivaji University squad that played in the 2001-02 Vizzy Trophy.

Ghodake’s effort earned him the Play-of-the-Day award from the International Cricket Council, announced via a tweet on Saturday. Ghodake is happy, but not surprised. “We practice every day so I don’t think what I did was unreal. With practice, these catches can be taken,” said the cop modestly, attached to Ghatkopar police station in Mumbai.

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