One of the most common questions the 28 year old Stallin Hoover would have been asked in his career as a cricketer would have been about the reason behind his name. Surely, his name couldn’t have been inspired by the Russian dictator, Joseph Stallin.
Speaking to the Belagavi Panthers star during the ongoing KPL, he cleared the air regarding his name and revealed the real reason behind it.
“I believe I am named after Sylvester Stallone and I do get this question asked a lot. So to clarify, I am named after the American actor and not the Russian Political leader (smiles)
For the 28-year-old, things are going pretty steady at the moment. Sharing the dressing room with international superstars such as Stuart Binny, Manish Pandey, and Sreenath Arvind while playing for the Belgavi Panthers, Stallin has learnt a lot.
Prior to the Belgavi Panthers, he was a part of the Hubli Tigers in 2016 where he got to share the dressing room along with his current captain Sreenath Aravind, and Shivil Kaushik, who went on to play for the Gujarat Lions in the IPL.
"I have learnt quite a lot from the senior players. Things that even include off field behaviour, discipline and fitness. Having played cricket over the years, I have picked up on many things from seniors in various teams"
The Panthers’ star player Manish Pandey missed the first couple of games as he was called up for the ODI series against Sri Lanka.
After performing exceptionally well in the few chances he got, Pandey made a return to the KPL. He will remain with the side for a few games before he gets back to his national duty with the Australia ODI series just a week away.
Speaking about Manish’s return to the side, Stallin spoke about what he brings in to the side and the importance of working as a team.
"Our team is looking at the only objective of winning the tournament. Yes, Manish adds firepower to the side but still, we can't take things for granted. We will still perform as a team and do what is needed to win."
Stallin played his part in the Panthers’ first win of the tournament with a brilliant performance with the bat and the ball. Coming in to bat at no. 7, Stallin closed out the innings with a quick-fire 20 of just 8 deliveries. He picked up two wickets and was quite economical as well.
In the next match against the home side Mysuru Warriors and opened the innings. Things didn’t go according to plan as he was dismissed for 2.
“Though I would like to get my eye in and play longer in the innings, it is more important that I play the role assigned to me. In the current scenario, I will support whatever decision the team takes and yes if I have to finish the innings, I will.”
The KPL has given cricketers like Stallin an opportunity to showcase their talent and live their dream. In fact, all the domestic T20 leagues around the world has given birth to a lot of talent. Stallin who began playing cricket in Bangalore speaks about who his role model was growing up, and it’s no surprise as to who it is.
“It all started when I accompanied my sister who was an athlete, to SAI. Watching the athletes there. I was inspired to become one and at the age of 12, my love for cricket began.
"Without a doubt, Sachin Tendulkar has been my role model growing up. I'm sure he was everybody's inspiration but he had a positive influence on me which gave me the urge to take my dream forward.”
Stallin has been an integral part of the KPL for many years now nad has had the opportunity to represent many different teams. Last year, he was a part of the Hubli Tigers franchise and this time around, he was picked up by the star-studded Panthers.
He has consistently performed well with the ball and has been getting in a few big knocks with his bat as well.
In the past, we have seen a few cricketers from the KPL gone on to make a mark in the cash rich IPL as well. With a few more noteworthy performances this year, Stallin would look to get the scouts to notice him.
“I would like perform consistently and hope to get an opportunity soon. My initial goal is to excel in the KPL enough to get noticed to get the call but with the uncertainties of Cricket, you'll never really know.
I have played one day and test Cricket in 1st division and hope to represent Karnataka state in the future as well but yes, the fast pace of T20 is something that I really enjoy playing.”
Stallin Hoover has got a lot of heads turning due to his name but by the end of the tournament, he would hope for his numbers to do the talking rather than his name. With the confidence he has shown in his ability so far, we could surely expect a lot from him in the near future.