Free Press Journal

IPL’s Lost Talents! Kamran Khan: A gifted pacer who shone on the big stage, but is now anonymous


Cricket is a game of glorious uncertainties and a great leveller. There are no guarantees of a successful career and not everybody can become Sachin Tendulkar or Virat Kohli. There are so many players who have come from humble backgrounds and made it big in international cricket and in some cases go on to captain India as well (read: Mahendra Singh Dhoni). Indian Premier League’s main objective was to unearth young domestic talent and one name that comes to mind is Uttar Pradesh’s Kamran Khan.

Kamran Khan’s life and story is very similar to a masala Bollywood film, as it had everything that you need in a potboiler. Khan came from a very poor background and was a son of a woodcutter and his financial situation was very dire. Having impressed Darren Berry, the Rajasthan director of coaching, in a suburban Twenty20 tournament, Khan was given a contract worth about $24,000 with Rajasthan for the second season of the IPL. He made his T20 debut before having played a first-class match. Khan first came to prominence while playing for inaugural IPL champions Rajasthan Royals in 2009, which was played in South Africa due to Indian general elections and was given the nickname of ‘wild thing’ by none other than Australian legend Shane Warne.

Kamran Khan was thrown into the deep end, but he was quite pacy and nippy and had a slingy action. Khan straight away performed in South Africa and despite being so raw and young, he had a great cricketing brain and was bowling to the likes of Chris Gayle, Brendon McCullum in IPL. He even bowled in a super over for his franchise. Everything was going great, but then questions were raised over his bowling action and injuries also took a toll on this young cricketer.

Also read: IPL’s Lost Talents! Swapnil Asnodkar: How this pocket size dynamo disappeared after first season of IPL

Cricket is a game which is very ruthless and uncompromising and if you don’t work hard then it can come back to haunt you and could destroy your career. Khan, after the high of 2009 IPL, suddenly lost track and was struggling to stay relevant and was finding it difficult to even play. After playing infrequently for Royals for two years, Khan played for now-defunct Pune Warriors India in 2011 (just one match) and then disappeared altogether.

There were some reports in media that Khan was working on a farm and had given up cricket. if that is true then it’s a travesty of justice and a great shame for Indian cricket that it could not handle a talented but misguided, distracted youngster. The young cricketer’s career got over before it could even begin properly. Kamran Khan could have become India’s next Zaheer Khan with proper nurturing and guidance, but life was not fair and just to this young lad.