Saturday, March 23, 2019 | ePaper
IPL experience vital to Khaleel's smooth transition
Khaleel Ahmed spent the entire IPL 2017 season bowling day in and day out at the Delhi Daredevils nets, without ever making his IPL debut. It would have been easy to mistake him as a net bowler, but his pace would almost always catch the attention of the onlookers.
At the end of sessions, Khaleel would often walk up to chat with Rahul Dravid, the Daredevils' then mentor and Khaleel's coach at the 2016 U-19 World Cup. Despite the obvious lack of game time, there was no dearth in lessons given the overarching presence of veterans Dravid and Zaheer Khan. After a prolific Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (17 wickets from 10 games) for Rajasthan, Khaleel's name sparked a bidding war at the next auctions. While Daredevils and Kings XI Punjab were in the fray, Sunrisers Hyderabad snapped him up for a whopping INR 3 crore from a base price of 20 lakhs.