From Mahela Jayawardene as coach to Sachin Tendulkar as mentor, Mumbai Indians have it all covered when it comes to cricket world’s A-listers. When such big names are thrown into the mix, often the focus shifts away from the lesser known players. Kulwant Khejroliya is one such example.
Khejroliya, before taking to cricket only an year back, was working as a waiter a restaurant in Goa. He moved to Delhi to take up the sport professionally after a friend spotted the spark in him. Khejroliya didn’t inform his parents, who thought he had moved to Ahmedabad to join a friend’s transport business.
In Delhi, he joined the LB Shastri club, which has produced cricketers like Gautam Gambhir, Nitish Rana and Unmukt Chand. It was here that Khejroliya found a mentor in coach Sanjay Bharadwaj, who not just helped him move into a hostel with other cricketers but also molded him into a fine left-arm pacer.
The 25-year-old left-handed pacer’s services were acquired by MI at his base price of Rs 10 lakh in the 2017 auction. Khejroliya made his first-class debut, playing for Delhi, in the 2017 Vijay Hazare Trophy. Khejroliya is yet to play an IPL match this season.
Having finished on top of the table after the league stage, MI would have hoped to make it straight into the final, giving them vital days of rest while their opponents scrambled for the other final slot. However, they now need to get past KKR to enter the IPL final on May 21.