Indore, MADHYA PRADESH :
Years ago, when Mohammad Ashique Khan would chat about cricket with his customers while they would bide time in his paan shop outside SJSITS, one of the top engineering colleges here, like most ‘paanwalas’ tend to do across the streets of India, little did he realise that one day, his own son would come back to the town as the part of one of the most popular teams in the IPL.
Madhya Pradesh pacer Avesh Khan , who shot into the limelight after clocking 139.8kmph against Pakistan in the Under-19 World Cup in Bangladesh last year, is a part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore squad, though he’s unlikely to play when they play the Kings XI Punjab at the MPCA Stadium here on Sunday night.
“I’m obviously excited. I’ll get to go home, but I wish that I get to make my IPL debut soon, so that I can prove my talent, express myself,” Khan told TOI from Bangalore, while packing his bags for the trip. The 20-year-old claims that despite his humble background, cricket was never a problem.
“My father had a paan shop five-six years back, when I wasn’t even playing cricket, but now he’s a finance manager in a firm. We never had financial problems. Through the earnings of his paan shop, my father ensured that we had food on the table twice in the day, and thanks to Allah, we never had to face financial problems. I was and am never feel embarrassed about what he did. No work is small or big,” he recalls.
Unlike most young cricketers these days, the flow of money hasn’t resulted Khan’s lifestyle becoming extravagant. “I don’t have too many indulgences. I never craved for a big flat, or a flashy car, or expensive clothes. I still don’t have my own car. I’m not an outgoing person, don’t and spend most of my day training.
“On Sunday, I like spending time with my parents. I just want to see my parents happy and proud of me. Twice, the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association (MPCA) awarded me Rs 5 lakhs cash prize, but I gave that money to my father. I don’t keep more than Rs200 in my pocket. If I need more money, I ask my mother for it,” he says.
The IPL contract with RCB came just as he was feeling low at being ignored from the IPL auction list last year despite having impressed everyone at the Colts’ World Cup. “I was feeling bad as my name wasn’t there in the IPL auction, despite being the highest wicket-taker for India (firstname.lastname@example.org) in the U-19 World Cup last year. Luckily, as RCB’s bowling wasn’t doing well at that point, Virat bhai (Kohi, India & RCB skipper) and Daniel Vettori (coach) summoned me for trials in Bangalore before the playoffs last year and I was signed up last year. I was retained this year on an Rs 11 lakhs contract,” he recalls.
“He’s a sincere, hard-working boy. He can generate good pace-around the 140s. He’s sharp off the pitch. He’s just 20, and he’ll learn with time. He’ll be noticed because of his speed. The good thing about him is that he gets bounce from those ideas where the batsman doesn’t like it. He can finish off the game in a session, and tends to be quicker in his second spell, when the conditions a more in favour of the batsmen,” praises former India and Madhya Pradesh batsman Amay Khurasia, who has coached the youngster since he first came to the MPCA academy when he was just 15.
Khurasia feels that the India selectors haven’t groomed Khan well after the pacer’s talent was visible during the junior World Cup. “Considering that he was praised by cricket legends like Rahul Dravid (India U-19 coach) and Glenn McGrath, the selectors could’ve picked him for the Irani Cup. Even the MP Ranji selectors have goofed up by not picking him in the Ranji Trophy team initially,” he laments.
A knee injury, and a lack of vision on part of the selectors has meant that Khan hasn’t played for MP since the high of the U-19 World Cup.
Maybe, the IPL has a better fate in store for this rare talent.
source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / Home> News> IPL / by Gaurav Gupta / TNN / April 10th, 2017