The southpaw enjoyed playing in front of thousands of spectators during the final of the inaugural season.ttmum
Playing in a packed and rapturous Wankhede Stadium during the final of the inaugural season of T20 Mumbai was an experience like no other for all-rounder Shams Mulani.
So much so, it was like playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for the 23-year-old.
“In the first year, I did not expect anything,” Shams Mulani said during an Instagram Live session with Shiv Dhawan. “I thought it’s going to be like a local tournament. I didn’t think people would come in such numbers.”
In the first season of T20 Mumbai, the southpaw was picked up by Shivaji Park Lions, who had a commendable campaign in which they ended as one of the finalists.
They played out a nail-biting title decider against Triumph Knights North Mumbai East in front of a swarming Wankhede Stadium, which has been now ingrained in Shams Mulani’s memory.
“The stadiums were jam-packed. I never played in front of so many people,” he recalled. “The experience was amazing.”
“It was like a mini-IPL and everyone was saying that it was giving them the IPL feels because of the senior players who were there and were already playing in the IPL. Even they shared the same feeling.”
During that campaign, Shams Mulani had rubbed shoulders with Paul Valthaty and Siddhesh Lad in the side, who had been part of IPL teams, the latter with Mumbai Indians at the time.
“Every stand that was open, was full. Everyone was shouting, I could literally feel the stadium shaking,” he added, referring to the final.
Shams Mulani couldn’t get his hands on the trophy that night as Shivaji Park Lions fell short by three runs despite Shivam Dube’s last-over heroics. Triumph Knights managed to lift the trophy with their captain Suryakumar Yadav leading from the front.
In the second season of T20 Mumbai, the all-rounder plied his trade for Aakash Tigers Mumbai Western Suburbs.