West Indies face India in two Twenty20 Internationals in Florida at the weekend in a litmus test for both cricket's future in the US. Ahead of their two-match T20I series starting August 27, Team India got a chance to interact with USA's basketball team Miami Heats in Florida.
For someone who is six-foot-plus tall and strapping, Ashwin was probably a natural choice for the school basketball team. That he went on to become an off-spinner who can bat very well was perhaps a loss for the Indian basketball team. Ashwin relived every moment of his visit at the NBA giants' locker room gymnasium and recuperation centre. The cricketers met up with the latest recruits of Miami Heat — Tyler Johnson and Briante Weber.
"I've played a bit of basketball during my school days so that got me really excited while I tried my hand again after so many years. I am thankful to both Weber and Johnson for taking time out and showing us around their home turf."
Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shikhar Dhawan exchanged notes with the basketball stars and saw the effect of technology in American basketball.
"It was great fun. Exchanging thoughts about how the sports have transformed with the latest technology is always good. While I tried to explain these guys how cricket is played, they in return taught me the finer details of basketball," said Dhawan.
India and world T20 champions West Indies will play a two-match T20 series on Saturday and Sunday. The Indians will be led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni. The West Indies will be captained by Carlos Brathwaite. The series has been approved by the International Cricket Council and will be the first such in the United States.