Mumbai: The cash rich Indian premier league has been the platform for cricketers to shine on the grand stage. The tournament gives an opportunity for young stars to play alongside international stars and also a chance to learn from experienced players.
While some have gone on to don the national jersey after performing well in the league, there are some players who wish to play for India in near future. Mahipal Lomror too has a dream to play for the national team.
He may not be a big name like some of his Under-19 teammates like Washington Sundar or Rishabh Pant, but the youngster has ambitions to represent India at the highest level.
Still in the early days of his cricketing career, the 18-year-old from Nagaur, is quietly performing for his Ranji Trophy team Rajasthan. It has been two years since Mahipal made his First Class debut, the youngster has played 13 matches in which he has scored 561 runs and picked up 26 wickets. He was a part of the Indian U-19 squad that played the World Cup in 2016, which was held in Bangladesh.
Rajasthan Royals are known to give young talent a chance to showcase their skills. Players like Shane Watson, Yusuf Pathan, Sanju Samson went on to represent their respective country at the international level.
Mahipal has been a part of the league since last year, when he was signed by Delhi Daredevils,who was coached by current Under-19 coach Rahul Dravid. He failed to get game time and the franchisee too did not retain his service this season.
Royals, who are making their comeback after two years, have managed to put a team with a blend of youth and experience and Mahipal is the only local player in the Ajinkya Rahane-led side. Yet to make his IPL debut, the youngster spoke to this reporter on playing for his home state in the Indian Premier League.
Here are the excerpts:
Q) Earlier you were a part of Delhi Daredevils side and this is your first season for Rajasthan Royals. How does it feel?
A) I am very excited to play for Rajasthan, I have been playing on this ground . The matches will be happening at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium after 3-4 years.
Q) You idolise Adam Gilchrist, earlier you used to bat and now you have started bowling how has been the transition?
A) I used to be a batsman in under 19 days but I slowly began to bowl as well and from thereon I continued with it.
Q) What format do you want to represent India in? Do you want to play shorter format or you want to play across all formats?
A) I would love to play across all formats, since I want to play for India in the World Cup.
Q) Since Shane Warne is there in dugout, what kind of tips are you looking to take from him?
A) He is a legend in himself and I feel that I will get a lot of help from him. We discuss a lot in the nets. So, let's see how much I gain from the tips he is giving me.
Q) How do you see this opportunity to play for RR, who are known to give opportunity to youngsters?
A) This is definitely a big opportunity. The team has a mix of youth and experience. So, i feel this is a good chance to showcase our talent in front of some big names in the side.
Q) You will be playing alongside Rahane and Ben Stokes, what do you plan to learn from them, especially Stokes, who is an all-rounder?
A) Yes, of course, I have been talking to Rahane and he has been helping me and it is helpful. There is a lot to learn from Ben Stokes as to how you can become a good all-rounder and how you have to be prepared and I will definitely learn from him.
Q) You have played with Sundar and Pant. What do you have to say about their progress?
A) I am very happy for both of them. Sundar has been doing well for himself for quite some time now with opportunities that he is getting. Our whole batch has been doing well and we are happy that Pant and Sundar have gone ahead and played for India.
I have known Pant since we have played together. He is the most chilled-out guy, but during the matches, he is very serious. I hope he does well with whatever opportunities he is getting currently.
Q) Since RR is coming back after two years. How is the environment around the team?
A) The environment is great, everyone is really excited. The members of the team have gelled really well. Since we are coming back after two years, the excitement is definitely there....