Zimbabwe all-rounder Sikandar Raza said that his wish to be a part of the Indian Premier League (IPL) has finally come true after getting his maiden deal on Friday’s auction. Raza also shared how nervous he was during the auction. However, he will be one of the few cricketers from Zimbabwe to be part of the cash-rich league after the Punjab Kings signed him up for a base price of INR 50 lakhs as well.
He did well in the 2022 T20 World Cup with his all-round performances. Following the auction from Kathmandu, Raza shared that his internet had disconnected during his bidding and he got confused when everyone started congratulating him. He told ESPN Cricinfo,
“Alhamdulillah it has happened. I am really happy, humble and excited at the same time. I would have been fine with any franchise but to have a Punjabi munda in Punjab, it is a great match. I was in training today. I was calm. Sometimes I was nervous.”
He added, “I went through all the emotions before the auction. We went back to the hotel. Then there was an anti-corruption meeting. When it was my turn at the IPL auction, I was moving from one room to another, and the internet got disconnected. While it was connecting back again, I started getting a lot of messages from my friends, congratulating me. I said, ‘what, I can’t see it. Are you guys playing a prank?’ They said check the auction. I said I am checking but I haven’t even been up there. What happened was, by the time I reconnected, I had gone already. So basically I didn’t see the bid.”
— Punjab Kings (@PunjabKingsIPL) December 24, 2022
“It has been life and career changing” – Sikandar Raza
However, it has been a stunning 2022 for him, having played key roles in Zimbabwe’s famous moments as they beat Bangladesh in ODI and T20I series as well. He scored a century against India, followed by securing a win against Australia in their backyard as well. He was also part of Zimbabwe’s T20 World Cup squad as they beat Pakistan in a dramatic way also.
While talking about such moments, Sikandar Raza added that his mother has been critical of his success as well. However, it is yet to be seen where he gets fit in the Punjab Kings line-up will be as well. With the Kings having other overseas players to be in the playing XI, he could struggle to find a place also.
“It has been incredible. It has been life and career changing. Every time I have won a Player-of-the-Match trophy, I kiss my mum’s hand and give her the trophy. The best part of these few months is that I have handed her over a lot of trophies. I think the trophy cabinet is full now,” Sikandar Raza concluded.