2009 IPL hero, Kamran Khan eyeing a comeback
Kamran, who last played a first-class match in 2013 at the Premier League Tournament at Colombo, has been practising hard since his return to home.Updated: Jul 13, 2020 23:58 IST
Cricket is back in the dusty village of Nadwa Sarai in Mau district, almost 321-km from Uttar Pradesh’s state capital. A lot of activities, including cricketers practicing seam bowling, can be seen on a sprawling rooftop of a house located in the middle of the village. But these activities don’t disturb people living around as it’s a routine for them to see their hero Kamran Khan practising. Kamran rose to fame in 2009 because of IPL.
Watching Khan bowl toe-crushing yorkers with two young boys on the other side of the wickets to collect those ball has been a routine affair for a dozen budding bowlers, who dream to copy the left-arm seamer, who had not only bowled the first-ever Super Over in the history of the cash-rich Indian Premier League, but also dismissed the set batsman Sourav Ganguly to ensure Rajasthan Royals’ win against Kolkata Knight Riders in South Africa.
“That’s the best day of my life in the game and I can’t even stop myself remembering those moments even now. I wish to do it again in the IPL and that’s what I feel now is my last dream to relish,” Khan says on Friday with a confidence in his voice that he is raring for a comeback in the game, especially with his home team Uttar Pradesh.
“I still remember the day when captain Shane Warne me threw the ball to me and asked to do my best. I was just 18 then and I suddenly found myself in a fix as KKR needed just seven off the last over and Dada (Ganguly) was at the crease,” he said. “Somehow I managed to gather my confidence and stopped my bubbling heart and just thought to do my best. God was with me as I conceded just six runs, forcing for the first-ever Super Over and then rest was the history.”
“The tracks of the Newlands in South Africa where I bowled that over still remind me that what I could achieve in the game on that day. Warne has still been a role model and I just remember his faith which he put in me on that day,” said Khan, 29.
Kamran, who last played a first-class match in 2013 at the Premier League Tournament at Colombo, has been practising hard since his return to home in the Unlock 1.0 as he was denied training at the parking of his society building in the Saki Naka area in Mumbai during the lockdown. “After a few days, residents objected to my bowling in the parking of the society so I was just waiting for an opportunity to come back home. I drove all the way from Mumbai to home and now even playing cricket in the nearby ground along with my cousins and brothers.”
Son of a woodcutter, Khan, however, refused to accept that while staying away from regular cricket, he was doing farming at home. “It’s all baseless reports about me. I never tried my hands on farming and most of the time kept playing professional cricket for some of the other organisations in Mumbai,” he said.
He also accepted that there were some minor problems with his bowling action and it was duly corrected in the due course of time. “I was picked up by the Rajasthan Royals in the trials at Mumbai when I was bowling 145 km plus speed, and I still feel the same fire power in me. Now days, I am bowling 140 kph and hope to cross 145 kph soon.”
“I wish to start my cricket journey once again and that’s why I am working hard on my fitness and accuracy to bowl toe-crushing Yorkers as they are the ultimate weapon in the Twenty20 game. I could play just two matches for Uttar Pradesh and that too in the shorter version of the game, but now I wish to play the longer version too,” he said, adding, “Certainly, I will be trying my luck at the trials in the upcoming season and would also make effort to stage a comeback in the IPL.”
However, Kamran, who has just 17 wickets, including 12 in the T20 games in as many as 13 matches so far, accepted that leaving Rajasthan Royals and joining the Pune Warriors was the biggest-ever mistake of his cricketing career. “I could have stayed on with Royals if I had not decided to join the Warriors. It was the biggest mistake of my career.”
“Over the last few years, I have seen many ups and downs in my life and every time I learnt something with whatever happened to me. I was banned for my suspect action, but a spell of rehabilitation helped me correct my action. Now, it’s time to show the world that neither I am down nor out, I am back again,” said Khan, who could play just one match for Pune Warriors after switching from Royals and was thrashed for 37 runs in his first two overs against Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2011.