IPL 9: Mumbai's Kamran Khan, Rahil Shaikh return, but only in the nets

Mumbai-based pacers Kamran Khan and Rahil Shaikh were among the scores of cricketers, who were picked by franchisees after seeing some spark in them. Kamran, who was essentially a tennis-ball bowler, played the IPL from 2009 to 2011 for Rajasthan Royals and Pune Warriors India.

Kamran Khan (left) and Rahil Shaikh at the Wankhede Stadium yesterday. Pic/Sandip Mahankal
Kamran Khan (left) and Rahil Shaikh at the Wankhede Stadium yesterday. Pic/Sandip Mahankal

Rahil, who had impressed Sachin Tendulkar as a net bowler, had the experience of two first-class matches for Mumbai before making his IPL debut for Mumbai Indians in 2009. That was his only match for them.

Yesterday, Kamran and Rahil were called to bowl in the nets for Royal Challengers Bangalore, but most of the time, they were collecting balls hit to the fence and only got to bowl a bit as the team was winding up their practice session.

RCB's bowling coach Allan Donald was surprised to meet Kamran with whom he worked at Pune Warriors. "Allan was shocked to see me here. He thought I was playing state-level cricket. He certainly did not expect me here," Kamran told mid-day.

"It isn't a great feeling to come here today. I am trying to hide from people. I was a bit reluctant to come here, but then I thought it would be another chance to impress the coaches and senior players."

Rahil almost went unnoticed before MI manager Rahul Sanghvi spotted him yesterday. "To keep your place in the IPL is a bigger challenge than just getting a chance," said Rahil, who missed out on a few seasons due to injury issues. The IPL has taught Kamran and Rahil not to get carried away and that the IPL is not the final destination in a cricketer's journey.

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