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By Peter Della Penna (on Twitter)
USA veteran batsmen Sushil Nadkarni and Aditya Thyagarajan have each secured new equipment sponsorship agreements ahead of their participation in the three match 50-over series against Bermuda beginning on March 26 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The contracts are unique because each player has chosen to endorse equipment companies that are based out of their respective local territories inside the USA.
Nadkarni’s deal is with Hammer Cricket, which was started by Dallas-based entrepreneur Jason Mellet. Houston resident Nadkarni says he initially bought one Hammer Cricket bat to test it out and see what the quality was like and was so impressed that he preferred it over pursuing a deal with a big name brand from overseas.
“The first time I spoke with him regarding different equipment, that’s when he told me about his new brand that he’s about to launch called Hammer Cricket and he very proudly said that the bats he has are much better than any of the branded bats,” Nadkarni said. “I actually ended up buying one of his bats just to test him out and I was very very impressed with the quality of the bat. They were indeed pinging and playing much better than some of the other brands that I’ve played with previously. It’s an American brand with a very high quality of English willow cricket bat and a really high quality of the pads and gloves. Quality… you wouldn’t want to compromise.”
Thyagarajan, who lives in Santa Barbara, California, has signed a deal to represent ProT20 which was started in Los Angeles by Pegasus Cricket Club member Mustajab “Mushi” Khan. Thyagarajan says he was eager to represent a local businessman who can give him the opportunity to try products out in person in order to get comfortable with them.
“In the past whenever I’ve had contracts… all contracts have been great. I’m not trying to say anything bad about other vendors but the biggest problem was I wasn’t able to try their stuff like bats, gloves or pads before a tournament,” Thyagarajan said. “For me, I have to really feel comfortable with the equipment before playing. With him I felt he can just come to L.A. He just brings a bunch of his A grade stuff in his truck and I just try it out and pick whatever I need based on our contract agreement and I play with those.”
“[Khan]’s really hard-working, honest, a good guy to partner with and I thought at this stage of my career I wanted to partner with somebody who is based in Los Angeles and help him grow and obviously take advantage of his equipment and then I made the call to go with him instead of pursuing other well-known brands.”
The ProT20 equipment deal for Thyagarajan also includes a range of clothing for training purposes which is something he’s never been offered as part of a package from other equipment providers and something which made the offer from ProtT20 even more appealing.