IPL a big platform for youngsters like me, says Thampi

The Kerala pacer is cognisant of the challenges thrown up by the batsman-friendly format.

Basil Thampi has been gaining tips from Praveen Kumar and Munaf Patel.   -  Special Arrangement

Kerala pacer Basil Thampi, who was picked up by Gujarat Lions for IPL-10, feels participation in the tournament is a big platform for young domestic players like him. “IPL is a good platform for young domestic players, who get a chance to play with and against international players, and for me its a big opportunity,” Thampi told media persons here at Saurashtra Cricket Association (SCA) stadium in Khandheri.

Thampi was bought during the IPL auction by Gujarat Lions for Rs. 85 lakh against his base price of Rs. 10 lakh. The bowler would be paid much higher than the experienced Munaf Patel and Manpreet Gony, who will also play for Gujarat Lions. The young pacer considers T20 format as a big challenge, particularly for bowlers.

“Bowling is a big challenge in [the] shortest format of the game, but luckily I am getting tips from skipper Suresh Raina and experienced bowlers like Praveen bhai (Praveen Kumar) and Munaf bhai (Munaf Patel),” he said.

Gujarat Lions chose Thampi as the team franchise owner wanted to make its bowling department stronger, and also because he can bowl at around 140 kmph consistently. Meanwhile, Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani will attend the opening ceremony of Gujarat Lions at the Saurashtra Cricket Association (SCA) stadium, where the team will play its first match against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), Niranjan Shah, former honorary secretary of SCA said.

KKR co-owners Shahrukh Khan and Juhi Chawla are expected to be present during the match to cheer up their team.