Remember Kamran Khan?

Yet another edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) kicked off yesterday. Like each season, cricket fans look forward to another young sensation to emerge from the T20 extravaganza.

Former Rajasthan Royals and Pune Warriors’ pacer Kamran Khan watches the IPL-VI opener at his residence in Kurla yesterday. Pic/Suresh KK

The second edition of the IPL threw up a pace sensation Kamran Khan, who was called Tornado by legendary spinner Shane Warne. The son of a woodcutter, Kamran, who had only played tennis-ball cricket till then, became an instant hit, especially after his last over heroics against Kolkata Knight Riders in Cape Town in 2009. He played for Rajasthan Royals for two seasons before moving to Pune Warriors India in 2011. He played only one match in the last edition before being dumped midway through the tournament.

Cut to the sixth edition of the IPL! The Azamgarh lad is now without any team after Pune Warriors released him from his contract. “It is disappointing to miss the IPL this year. I have been working hard on my bowling. I did well for Air India in the DY Patil T20 Cup (in January, 2013). But I don’t know why they (Pune) didn’t persist with me,” Kamran told MiD DAY yesterday.

It is learnt that the Pune Warriors team management preferred players with good domestic experience.

Though Kamran will be watching the IPL-VI, he admits it won’t be easy. “I have to watch the IPL as there is a lot to learn from it. But it will be difficult to sit in front of the TV. I want to be there… playing,” said Kamran, who rectified his suspect bowling action at the National Cricket Academy and Australia’s Centre of Excellence in Brisbane.

Since his IPL showing, Kamran has been hopeful of breaking into the first-class teams of Mumbai and Uttar Pradesh. The rookie pacer managed to play a couple of games for UP in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, the national T20 tournament in 2010-11, but hasn’t been able to go beyond that.

Recently, he played in the T20 Goa Premier League where he met Sri Lanka’s Malinda Warnapura, who took Kamran to Colombo to play first-class cricket. He made his first-class debut with Colts Cricket Club on March 22.

“Kya kare (What I could do?),” he asked helplessly. “I wasn’t getting any opportunity to play first-class cricket in India. When Malinda assured me I would play first-class games in Sri Lanka, I immediately agreed.”

Rajasthan Royals skipper Shane Warne (right) guides Kamran Khan in the last over against KKR in Cape Town during IPL 2009. Pic/AFP

First-class debut
Kamran claimed three wickets that included Sri Lankan cricketer Prasanna Jayawardene in his maiden first-class game. In his second match against Bloomfield Cricket and Athletic Club, the pacer picked up two wickets.

“I am hungry to play cricket. Wherever I’ll get an opportunity, I will play. It was a great experience bowling on Sri Lankan wickets. The wickets are spin-friendly and a pacer has to work really hard to succeed there,” he said after returning from the Emerald Isles on Tuesday.

Kamran is still hoping to make a cut in India’s first-class circuit this year. “I haven’t given up hopes. I am quite positive of playing the Ranji Trophy for Goa this year.

Not playing in the IPL doesn’t mean it is all over for me. I have it in me to play international cricket,” he signed off. 

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