Away from IPL 2021, Siddhesh Lad goes to UK for cricket 

Mumbai batsman Lad has signed up for Chorley, a Lancashire-based club, to compete in the Northern League Premier Division.

Mumbai batsman Siddhesh Lad has signed up with Chorley Cricket Club in Lancashire for game time as Ranji Trophy stands cancelled.   -  INSTAGRAM/SIDDHESH LAD

At times, the Indian Premier League can get to your head. It almost pushed Siddhesh Lad into self-doubt after the middle-order batsman warmed the bench for five years at the Mumbai Indians dugout appearing in just one match.

Kolkata Knight Riders picked up Lad for the 2020 edition but did not give him a game. He did not find any takers in 2021 and before mulling over an uncertain future, cricket came calling from the United Kingdom.

The Mumbai batsman has signed up for Chorley, a Lancashire club that competes in the Northern League Premier Division. “I have come to the UK with some goals in mind for the next season. I am here to work hard, gain experience, score runs and come back stronger for Mumbai,” he told Sportstar on Friday.

READ: Siddhesh Lad, still waiting for a full IPL

Lad has been Mumbai’s crisis man in Ranji Trophy but in February, he was dropped from the squad after a string of poor scores in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20. And with no IPL teams bidding for him this time around, he had to look for alternatives.

“I had a tough season back home. Cricket was on and off and I was not a part of any IPL team. Things were uncertain due to COVID so I spoke to a few senior players and ex-Mumbai cricketers about how I can improve my game for the next season. They offered the solution,” he said.

Being out in the park in alien conditions is definitely better than warming the bench in the IPL. “Personally, I always wanted to play in the UK summer but I never got a chance because of commitments in India,” he said.

Lad still hasn’t given up on IPL dreams. “I think IPL is the biggest platform right now so definitely it’s my loss not being a part of it but also playing cricket is very satisfying. It’s cold and wickets are green so a good challenge for me,” he added.

READ: KKR will bounce back strongly, says Russell

The 28-year-old is living with a senior club committee member. “His name is Dave Kelley and his age is 73. He is a great man. He is retired and takes care of me and has made me very comfortable at his home in Lancashire. The club is taking care of all the expenses,” said Lad, who scored 54 in his debut game last weekend.

The Mumbai boy has been keeping a track of the COVID catastrophe back home amid the training and matches. “My wife was supposed to come to the UK soon but unfortunately, India has now been declared a red zone country and she can’t travel before things get better in India which everyone is wishing and hoping for.

“Everything is opening up in the UK and people all over will be vaccinated soon. I had to home quarantine for five days with two negative results upon my arrival,” said Lad, who has 4,058 first-class runs at an average of 40.58.

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :