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‘IPL a stepping stone’

All-rounder Pawan Negi says isn’t satisfied with just league contract.

Written by Jonathan Selvaraj | New Delhi |
January 24, 2012 1:22:42 am

Getting an IPL contract is undoubtedly something of an achievement for most domestic cricketers. So it comes as somewhat of a surprise when Pawan Negi speaks nonchalantly about his Delhi Daredevils contract. Reason is simple he is not thinking too far ahead. Also,more than a sense of achievement the contract is vindication of Negi’s self belief.

As a class eleven student of DPS RK Puram,Negi decided that studies were not for him and decided to become a full-time cricketer. “Initially when I informed my family about my decision to quit my studies,the reactions were not positive. My parents were surprised but soon accepted the fact that I was always more of a sportsman. While they supported me,there were others who told me I was making a poor decision,and that I was messing up my life. The same people are now congratulating me,” says Negi.

While the official news of his contract came only a couple of days back,Negi says he had come to know of the selection a few weeks back. It was his performances at the Syed Mushtaq Ali domestic T20 tournament in October last year that prompted the call. In that tournament in Lahli,he had picked up six wickets for next to nothing with his left-arm-spin and contributed handily with the bat down the order. “While I was interested in getting a contract,I had no idea how I would go about getting it. Then Virender bhaiyya just came up and asked me whether I would be interested in playing in the IPL,” he says.

While Negi knows that his contract is of one year,he has little idea of the remaining details until he meets the team management in a couple of days.

“I haven’t really celebrated my contract. A few of my friends had me give them a treat,but there was nothing extravagant. Right now I don’t want to think too far ahead. I have only been selected to the Daredevils squad,I haven’t yet made it to the team. Even my coach Ajay Sharma has been advising me to not think this as the achievement and keep working so that I get a place in the final team,” he says.

If he does get a chance to play,Negi says his main goal would be to learn as much as possible. “Obviously I will do my best to make a good impression. But besides getting a game,I will be getting a chance to play with so many senior players. It will be a great learning experience and a stepping stone,” he says.

As for now his immediate aims are to perform in the domestic one dayers that begin in February. Having had in his own words ‘an average’ first class season — he played just the two matches scoring 54 runs and claiming two wickets in his senior debut for Delhi this season — he knows the pressure will be on him to perform in Delhi side with several claimants for a team spot. Training at the RP Cricket Academy. While I play as an all rounder,I am working harder on my bowling. My role is that of someone who restricts the scoring and for that I am bowling a lot with a single stump. I am hoping this season will be a lot better,” he says.

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