Beyond The Stadium, Skipper Mayank Agarwal Has The World To Explore

The ace cricketer lets us in on his travel tales with wife Aashita and tells us why he loves his hometown Bengaluru

Ace skipper Mayank Agarwal shares a mutual love for exploration with wife Aashita

Cricketer Mayank Agarwal is a riot to watch on the field; his skill and talent have left an indelible mark on the sport’s glorious history in India. But the ace skipper has a penchant for one thing when he is off the field - travelling. We caught up with him to know more about this passion for exploration that he shares with his wife, Aashita Sood Agarwal. 

Mayank with his favourite travel companion - his wife Aashita

Tell us a little about your hometown
I was born and brought up in Bengaluru, which in my opinion, is a stunning place. It is ideal in terms of weather; there are cafes, pubs and a lot of opportunities to simply explore the city. One can also head out to Mysore and Coorg for vacations and these places are pretty close to the city. I trained here during the beginning of my career and am currently training at RXCA Cricket Academy. My wife is also from Bengaluru (laughs). This is why I believe Bengaluru is a great place to be in.

How was the pandemic for you?  
It was difficult; everything was shut down and we couldn’t go out. But we made peace with it very early. We looked at it as time we could spend together. I don't spend much time at home, so I could be with my family. My wife and I could indulge in hobbies like gardening, together. The pandemic allowed me to take a break from the sport and do things that I couldn’t really do because of the constant travelling. 

The cricketer-lawyer duo shares a love for travelling

Did cricket help you discover your love for travelling?
While I travel a lot due to the sport’s format, my parents had, right from our childhood, ensured that we take family vacations. I was very young and vaguely remember going to Canada and the USA; it was from that time that I knew I liked seeing new places. I credit my parents for the drive I have when it comes to exploring different destinations. 

One place you’d recommend to a travel junkie
There are a lot to choose from! New Zealand tops the list when it comes to international destinations. It is very quiet, there is greenery and the best part is that the country offers a myriad range of adventure sports to keep you hooked. 

Do you explore the city you’re in when on tour?
My wife Aashita and I love to explore a new place; we try and experience the authentic culture of the place we are in, and even live like locals. We don’t just go to the big and famous spots. I remember, while in Turkey, we made it a point to visit the small spice markets, have authentic Turkish nights with local cuisine. That is something we enjoy doing together. 

Your favourite memory of travelling with Aashita 
It has to be Oia. Oia is a small coastal village in Santorini. For us, Greece was surreal. 
I am more adventurous while Aashita is more laidback as a traveller. But we have found our middle path; we usually try to bundle in all our exploration plans during the first half of the vacation. Most of the activities are scheduled early on and then during the latter half of the vacation, we take it easy and just enjoy each other’s company. 

The pandemic allowed Mayank to spend more time with his family

Favourite cricket ground
Melbourne, Australia. I made my test debut there and have a lot of fond memories playing in that ground. 

What is the one thing you pack but never use?
I think it’s a very typical Indian thing to do but my wife and I tend to pack far too many clothes. Even for a short vacation! So we usually come back not having used all of them (laughs).

Stealing a quiet moment in Brighton

 Which is the next destination on your list?
In 2020, before the pandemic happened, we were planning to go to Italy. That is going to be our next destination. My wife wants to go on a cruise so that’s on our bucket list as well.