Team India’s throwdown specialist, D Raghavendra, popularly known as Raghu, has declined two offers from ECB to be their throwdown specialist and preferred his home country over England. He is equally adept in logistics and would help the logistics department of the Indian cricket team.
Raghu has been touring with the team for the various series that they have played for the past four years and his ability to launch sidearm throws towards the Indian batsmen with speeds over 150 km/hr makes him the favourite of all the coaches. Virat Kohli also asked the young Raghu to throw from a close distance while he batted in the nets during the ongoing tour of South Africa in order to acclimatize to the quick and bouncy South African tracks.
When team India toured England in 2014, The ECB gave an offer to him for the first time and did the same when they toured India in 2016. But Raghu's liking for the Indian Players helped him refuse ECB’s offer twice and he even informed the Indian team management about the same.
Raghu is so passionate about the Indian players, that he once spent one whole night at the graveyard as he was short of money, to meet Sachin Tendulkar the next day. It was after that night that he finally ended up meeting Tendulkar at his home, which he has since done quite a few times.
The ECB spokespersons did not respond to questions from Pune Mirror but the Indian team sources have confirmed about the ECB offers. “He declined the offers from other boards, mainly from ECB. He wants to stay with the Indian team,” said a team official.
Raghu was drawing just about Rs 6 lakh per year, a package equivalent of a Class IV employee for quite some time. But recently the BCCI increased it to Rs 20 lakh a year.