Kerala wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammed Azharuddeen who etched his name in history after his successful feat in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy shared an interesting anecdote of how his dream to play for Bangalore in IPL 2021 came true and how one text made his day.
Almost 2 minutes after the IPL auction on February 18, Azharuddeen, who had been picked by Bangalore at his base price of INR 20 lakhs received a text from skipper Virat Kohli and fellow RCB member welcoming him into the squad reading-- "Welcome to RCB, all the best. Virat here."
According to Azharuddeen, the text was too good to be true, hence he refused to believe it was from Kohli, rushing to Sanju Samson to confirm if it was really his number. After confirmation from his state teammate, the Kerala cricketer replied- "That means my world", sharing that he was excited to meet him and play alongside him.
A personal text from the Indian skipper assumes significance for Azharuddeen who had earlier revealed the name of the franchise and the cricketer that he dreamed to play with ahead of the IPL auctions. In an interview to InsideSport, the cricketer responded that he would "love" to bat with Virat Kohli, thus naming the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) as his preferred franchise.
The wicket-keeper batsman had had a successful run in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021 tournament scoring 214 runs across five matches. He aggregated his runs at an average of 53.50 while maintaining a staggering strike-rate of 194.54 at the top of the order. In a match against Mumbai, he clubbed 137 runs from just 54 balls. Mohammed Azharuddeen's ton also made him the first batsman from Kerala to register a hundred in T20s and his milestone makes him the third joint-fastest hundred by an Indian batsman.
Bangalore had entered IPL 2021 auction with a purse of INR 35.40 crores and a total of 14 slots to be filled including three overseas slots. Refusing to shy away from spending big bucks, the franchise picked up Kyle Jamieson for INR 15 crore, Glenn Maxwell for INR 14.25 crores, and Australian all-rounder Daniel Christian for INR 4.8 crores. Other RCB players bought at the auction include Australian Sachin Baby, Rajat Patidar, Mohammed Azharuddeen, Suyash Prabhudesai, and KS Bharat.
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