Mumbai fast bowler Tushar Deshpande had gone to Shivaji Park Gymkhana with the intention of becoming a batsman early in his career, but seeing the long queues for batting, he stood in the queue of bowlers and now he has no qualms about that decision. The 25-year-old bowler played a key role in helping the Delhi Capitals win by 13 runs over Rajasthan Royals by bowling brilliantly in an Indian Premier League (IPL) match on Wednesday night.
Deshpande said, ‘It was in 2007, when I, along with three-four boys, went from Kalyan to Shivaji Park Gymkhana for selection. There was a long queue of batsmen. It had 40-45 players and 20-25 batsmen were ready to wear pads. He said in a Marathi chat show, ‘There were only 15-20 players in the line of bowlers. It was 3:30 in the afternoon and the selection was to be done by 6:30 pm. Deshpande said, “I felt there was a long queue for batting and I would not get a chance but at the same time I did not want to return empty handed and so I stood in the queue of bowlers.”
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The fast bowler took two wickets for 37 runs in his IPL debut match. Talking about his selection trial, Deshpande further said, “At that time no one had said that I bowled faster than an average boy. The line of bowlers was moving fast and when my turn came, I got a new ball luckily. He said, ‘I fixed my run-up and bowled it. It was a very good outswing and Tappa went ahead very fast after eating. Paddy Sir (Padmakar Shivalkar) said, ‘Very good ball, do such a ball again.’
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Deshpande said, ‘I didn’t even know who he was but I again bowled. I made six-seven balls and I was picked. Deshpande has been practicing at Shivaji Park Gymkhana since childhood with his captain of Delhi Capitals Shreyas Iyer. He said, ‘The same procedure was adopted on the second and third days as well. Paddy sir and Sandesh Kavale sir boosted my morale and I decided to play from Gymkhana and thus became a fast bowler.