A Dutch expedition that helped Jay Bista mature as a cricketer

On Amol Muzumdar’s advice, Bista went out to test himself in Europe and bloomed as an opener.

The inaugural season of T20 Mumbai saw a host of players make their mark on the landscape of Mumbai cricket and one such name was SoBo SuperSonics’ captain and opener Jay Bista, who banked on his innovative stroke play and power-hitting to captivate the attention of the spectators.

The opener kicked off his first season in prime fashion with back-to-back 50s, the second of which was a brilliant 60 in just 39 balls, that saw him lead his team’s successful run chase of a mammoth 198 runs against North Mumbai Panthers. He finished the opening season with a total of 197 runs in seven outings and also captained the side in a thrilling three-wicket victory over Shivaji Park Lions.

Later, Bista, as advised by Amol Muzumdar, embarked on a journey that would help him grow as a cricketer. “Amol has spoken to me several times. He has given me a few tips about batting,” said Bista. “The most important advice he ever gave me is that whenever you’re set, never throw your wicket. Whenever you are in, you should take it to the end, and I try to do that.”

Muzumdar also guided Bista down a path that would drastically change his mindset as a cricketer. “Amol recommended me to play cricket professionally in the Netherlands. So, after the opening season, I played a season of domestic cricket in the Netherlands. When you go outside your country to play, you are looked up to. It was a great experience.”

Speaking of the adjustments that he had to make to his game, Bista said, “Being an opening batsman is challenging as the ball moves a lot in those conditions and I learned how to pace my innings and when you are the team’s best batsman, it brings an added sense of responsibility and that has helped me grow.”

Not only did the on-field challenges test Bista, his stay in the Netherlands also matured him as an individual. “I lived with a local family there, but I stayed alone. I had to cook my own food, do my own chores and be responsible. Given my eating habits, I had to be extra responsible,” he said.

Bista’s stint in the Netherlands inculcated a sense of responsibility in the opener and his maturity has been at full-display in the domestic circuit as well. Despite it being an unconventional route, Bista’s decision to test his talents out West has transformed his mindset as a batsman.

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