Bangalore: Touted as the “next big thing” by former Rajasthan Royals captain Shane Warne, the life of Kamran Khan – the pace bowler who was part of the IPL franchise till the 2009 edition – has changed upside-down in three years’ time. The 21-year-old from the Azamgarh district of Uttar Pradesh shot to fame by his ability to bowl fast. But the left-arm bowler has been reportedly shunned by his new IPL team Pune Warriors India this season and is now working at his brother's farm in his village.
Kamran’s abysmal condition has surprised Warne so much that the legendary Australian player expressed his disappointment on his Twitter account recently. “Found it bizarre that Kamran is working on a farm and not playing IPL. To me a waste of talent, hope your ok buddy,” tweeted Warne on Monday. "The Essence of the IPL was about helping young Indian talent & mixing them with all the International players & breaking down barriers..." he added in another tweet. “Along with international players mixing together… All that equals a quality, fun product for the fans... Sport is meant to be fun not a job. If everyone [BCCI & others] are making money in the IPL then so should the players, I think a few of you are missing the point I am making."
Kamran's life took a drastic turn after he was reported for chucking during an IPL game in 2009. But his passion for the game hasn’t diminished and he is working hard to clear his name of the stigma, which proved enough for people in his village to target him. “That’s when the taunts began. It’s almost like they were waiting for me to fall. Not many people here understand cricket. They now tell me how useless I am, and how my career is over because I chuck,” Kamran told The Indian Express.
“At first, the taunts hurt. Now, I’ve learned to ignore them. Instead, I spend my days training for a comeback in the mornings and evenings. During the day, I work on my brother’s farm, keeping to myself, away from the rest of the villagers,” said Kamran, who was picked by Rajasthan for $24,000 for IPL 2, which was held in South Africa. “Earlier, I used to work on the farm only. But I had to stop a few years ago as I was busy with cricket.”
Kamran played five IPL games for Rajasthan in IPL 2 and took six wickets. Rajasthan's then director of coaching, Darren Berry was impressed by Kamran during a Twenty20 tournament in Mumbai and decided to bring him to the IPL in 2009. This season, Pune reportedly gave him Rs 10 lakhs and sent him home as they did not want him for IPL 5. The Sahara-owned team had signed him in 2011 and played him in only one game.