Indian Premier League 2009 April 13, 2009

IPL next stop for Kamran

Cricinfo staff

Kamran Khan, the 18-year old Rajasthan Royals rookie left-arm seamer who has shot into prominence after taking a wicket off a yorker in an IPL warm-up game against the Cape Cobras over the weekend, has expressed his happiness at receiving a US$24,000 contract with the franchise but wished he had received the money sooner as his family struggled with poverty.

"Had this money come two years back, I might not have lost my mother," Kamran told the Indian Express. Kamran was spotted in a Twenty20 tournament in Mumbai by Rajasthan's director of coaching Darren Berry and signed up despite having no first-class experience. Kamran said having spent his nights on railway stations when travelling for cricket trials, it wasn't easy getting used to five-star hotel comforts in South Africa. "Be it Lucknow or Kanpur, I used to sleep at platforms. I used to buy a platform ticket and spend the night there. Having slept all these years on a rough floor … Neend hi nahi aayee pehli raat [I couldn't sleep the first night].

"I always had monetary problems. I never dared to ask money from my brothers. I had one pair of white clothes for trials."

Shane Warne, the Rajasthan captain, said Kamran, who bowls over 140kph despite his slight frame, will be one to watch out for this IPL season. Kamran said he didn't know what Warne had said about him. "Bahut fast angrezi bolte hain [He speaks English very rapidly]."

Kamran was overwhelmed by the change in his fortunes over the last few weeks. "Even until few days ago, nobody knew me. I used to play at the Azad Maidan in Mumbai and just hoped to keep on doing the hard work. I'd gone for trials to every part of UP but without success."