Indian Premier League 2009 February 17, 2009

Rajasthan Royals sign unknown pace bowler

Cricinfo staff

The Rajasthan Royals have picked a young fast bowler, Kamran Khan, out of obscurity for the second season of the IPL. Not much is known about him except that he impressed Darren Berry, Rajasthan's director of coaching, during a recent Twenty20 tournament in Mumbai.

Kamran, 18, a left-arm fast bowler, has never played first-class cricket. Primarily a tennis-ball bowler, he now finds himself with a Rs 12 lakh (approximately $24,000) contract with Rajasthan. "I can't express how happy I am. I knew I would play for a big team one day, but I never thought it would come so early," Kamran, 18, told Mid-day, the Mumbai-based tabloid.

His coach, Naushan Khan, told Cricinfo that his ward, who joined him five years ago, was a complete novice when he came to Mumbai from his hometown, Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh. "He was very raw when he first met me, and most of his experience was, and remains, with a tennis ball," said Naushan. "We have worked on his action and tried to develop him into a proper pace bowler. Kamran's work will hopefully start to yield results. I don't think it has really hit Kamran yet that he will be in the same squad as so many big players.

"We entered him into the Mumbai Police squad for a Twenty20 tournament at the DY Patil Stadium recently, and he impressed plenty there. Darren Berry happened to be there and he was impressed with Kamran."

Kamran took seven wickets in three matches in the Twenty20 tournament.

This is not the first time the Rajasthan management has unearthed a player and sent everyone scurrying to find out his antecedents. Before the inaugural IPL they signed up the greenhorn Dinesh Salunkhe, who came into the spotlight through a TV talent-hunt show but had yet to play a first-class match.