KATHMANDU, April 5: Nepali cricketer Shakti Gauchan raised quite a few eyebrows with a week-long training with Indian Premier League team Rajasthan Royals in Jaipur that led to speculations that he would become the first Nepali to play in the IPL.
Gauchan accumulated a good experience playing against star players like Rahul Dravid, Sreesanth and Brad Hodge.
But there is a rare chance that he will play in the IPL 5, although he is enlisted in the Rajasthan Royals ranks, because the final team for this edition has already been declared.
Gauchan will watch the first match of Royals against Kings XI Punjab in Jaipur on Friday and is likely to return back the next day. Nepali cricket fans were dreaming of his inclusion in the team with lots of them showing keen interest on social networking sites facebook and twitter.
On Wednesday, Royals posted a question about Gauchan on its official twitter account. The tweet read: “There is a player from an associate nation in the Royals ranks. Identify the nation he hails from.”
Some fans tweeted Kevon Cooper, an allrounder West Indies player. Mandakini Shalya from Jaipur finally got the correct answer. “@rajasthanroyals Nepal! :D:D,” wrote Shalya.
The Royals tweeter clarified that Gauchan was a part of the squad and also praised him. “Clarification guys. Shakti Gauchan is only part of the squad. Whether or not he gets to play remains to be seen. He´s a great talent though.”
Gauchan, speaking to Republica, said that he was afraid to bowl against star players in the squad at the beginning. “When I bowled in line against the star batsmen they failed to punish me.”
Gauchan had taken the wickets of Rahul Dravid and Brad Hodge during the net practice. Gauchan further added that the practice session in Jaipur had improved his bowling and fielding which will help him in the future.
Gauchan said that the Royals´ officials were happy with his performance and he quoted an official as saying, “We will see you again next season if you keep up with the good performance for Nepal.”
There is a huge difference between practice sessions in Nepal and Rajasthan, according to Gauchan. “We bowl for one hour in net in Nepal whereas in Jaipur we have to bowl continuously for three hours with only five minutes break for drink,” he said.