July 12, 2020

Ishan puts Bihar in the game

Patna: City lad Ishan Kishan (19), who the Mumbai Indians picked up for a whopping Rs 6.2 crore at the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 auction on Saturday, has left many biggies behind.

Even star players like like Yuvraj Singh and Gautam Gambhir – both of whom bagged Rs 2 crore – are nowhere near Ishan.

In the 2016 edition of the IPL, the Gujarat Lions had bought Ishan, former captain of the India Under-19 team, for Rs 35 lakh. Ishan had played for Gujarat Lions last season as well, scoring 319 runs at an average of 21.

“The money (this time) is more than what I expected,” Ishan said. “I was expecting something between Rs 3 and 4 crore. I was watching the news continuously and from television I came to know that I have been bought by Mumbai Indians. On Saturday evening, Akash Ambani (Mumbai Indians co-owner) called me up and congratulated me.”

The left-handed wicket-keeper batsman plays for the Jharkhand team and was selected for the Ranji team in 2014.

The IPL, Ishan said, is a good platform for youngsters as they get an opportunity to play with as well as learn from seniors. Asked if he had any particular team in mind, Ishan said: “No, younger players do not focus on any particular team but I like Chennai Super Kings, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians. Chennai is one of the best teams.”

Ishan honed his skill at the Sports Authority of India complex next to Moin-ul-Haq Stadium for around five years. He said good performances in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy gave him an edge. His best score in first class cricket is 272 runs versus Delhi last year.

The IPL 2018 will begin from April 7 and the first match is between last year’s defending champion Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai. The final, too, will be played at the Wankhede on May 27.

Ishan, however, has his sights higher; he said his ultimate goal is to play for the Indian cricket team and the two players he admires most are M.S. Dhoni and Australia’s David Warner.

Ishan, a DPS Patna student, had to shift school due to shortage in attendance. He shifted to Ashwani Public School to complete his board exam. He stopped studies after completing Class XII.

His father Pranav Kumar Pandey and mother Suchitra Singh expressed happiness but said he is yet to achieve what he wants to. “The day my son is selected for the Indian team, it would be the happiest day of our lives,” Pandey said.

The selection of the lad from Rajendra Nagar in the IPL has brought a ray of hope for the state’s budding cricketers. Ishan’s friends in the state capital and his coaches in Patna feel his selection will motivate players from Bihar. Ishan’s friend Saket Kumar, who has seen him play, said: “His selection will be a big motivation for cricketers from the state.” Saket, a fast bowler who has played Under-23 and Under-19 matches for Bihar and Jharkhand and is eyeing a spot in the state Ranji squad, said: “2018 is likely to be good for cricket in Bihar – first, the Supreme Court directed the BCCI to allow Bihar to hold Ranji matches and now the selection of Ishan.”

Amikar Dayal, who runs the Cricket Academy of Bihar at Moin-ul-Haq Stadium from where ishan learnt the nitty-gritties of the game, said: “For the past 15 to 16 years, there has been a dearth of cricketing activities in the state. There were a few cricket academies in the state capital but as Bihar was not allowed to play Ranji matches, many players migrated to Jharkhand and Bengal.

“After the Supreme Court directive to the BCCI, many cricket academies have come up in the state capital, , including in colonies,” Dayal added.

Sources said that apart from ishan, the Jharkhand Ranji team has Shahbaz Nadeem, Babul Pawan Kumar and Shasheem Rathour who hail from Bihar but play Ranji matches for Jharkhand.

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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