The Indian Premier League does not lend itself to too many memorable moments. A few, though, stood out.
Adam Gilchrist’s demolition of Delhi in the semifinals this year; Brendon McCullum’s equally destructive innings from last year and then, that of a slightly built 18-year-old coming from nowhere to take Sourav Ganguly’s wicket and snatch victory from the Kolkata Knight Riders a couple of months ago.
The Royals’ captain, Shane Warne, had promised that the teen, without a single game of any sort at state level, was something special and for a while, we thought, maybe.
Kamran’s background — he came from UP’s Azamgarh district, known more for terror than for play and was one of eight siblings from a very poor family — made his rise to sudden stardom even more magical. But then came those questions over his action, an official notice from the IPL and an injury that many said was faked. Suddenly, Kamran disappeared from the Royals’ line-up.
In that peculiarly cruel way of sport, Kamran’s fall from grace has been quite as nondescript as his rise was spectacular. So we decided to look for Kamran to see how he was taking it all and happily, found him not licking his wounds in his village, but in Mumbai, with coach Naushad.
“I’m staying positive and trying to recover from the injury (ligament rupture) I sustained. I have started training at the Azad Maidan here and am trying to bowl too. I need to recover soon, as I plan to reconfirm my ability to bowl by taking part in domestic matches,” Kamran told HT.
He, incidentally, said that he had no clue that his action was suspect till it all actually fell apart. “All I know was that I was sent home after sustaining an injury. So I’m just trying to concentrate on my recovery and hoping to get my rhythm back within 2-3 weeks.” After that, Kamran hopes he can travel to the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore and have coach Dav Whatmore tell him what he’s doing wrong, “if anything”.
Despite the bewilderment though, he says he tries to remember the good things rather than the bad from his IPL experience. Like when Warne handed him the ball for the Super Over against KKR. "It was amazing for me. I felt honoured and very apprehensive. But Inshallah, I managed to pull it off," said Kamran, sounding very young as he added: “I knew I would be a hero if I did it. And that's exactly what happened.”
Coming back early was “disappointing” but he said that that April fortnight alone changed things for his family. Besides the money that came in, “even the atmosphere in the village changed for the better. My relatives were very proud.”