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8 Interesting facts about Kerala fast bowler Sandeep Warrier

Warrier was born in Thrissur, Kerala, however, started playing cricket in the city of dreams, Mumbai.

Sandeep Warrier
Sandeep Warrier. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Injuries are a part and parcel of the game. While it isn’t ideal for a player to get injured but what it also does is it provides an opportunity for another player to step in and seize the moment. We have seen quite a bit of that in world cricket and in the IPL, over the years. India’s shining lights from the 2018 under-19 World Cup, Shivam Mavi and Kamlesh have been ruled out of the upcoming season of the IPL due to injuries.

Both of them were a part of the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) side. Nagarkoti will be missing his second season on the trot. In the wake of these injuries, KKR have signed 27-year-old Kerala pacer, Sandeep Warrier for the upcoming season. He is a relatively unknown commodity at this level but has been around the Indian domestic circuit for more than six years now. Thus, here’s a look into some of the facts about the Kerala pacer who is the most recent addition to the KKR squad for this year’s IPL.

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1. Birth and Background

Sandeep was born on the 4th of April in 1991 in the city of Thrissur in Kerala. However, he started playing cricket in the city of dreams, Mumbai.

His father who is a bank employee worked in Mumbai when Sandeep was in school. He started playing for his school at the lower level. The youngster moved back to Kerala at the age of 16. He is an engineering dropout who left college to pursue his dream on the cricket field.

2. Kerala debut and entry into the India under-23 side

Sandeep Warrier made his first-class debut for Kerala in the 2012-13 season. He played his first game against Goa at Malappuram. He picked up a couple of wickets as Kerala just got to bowl once in that game.

At 20 years of age, he played five games in that Ranji season and scalped 24 wickets at an average of 19.20 which included a couple of five-wicket hauls. His match figures of 8/79 in a game against Jharkhand helped Kerala register an innings victory.

After his impressive Ranji debut, he was drafted into the India Under-23 squad as well for the ACC tournament in Singapore. He won the player of the match award against Pakistan in that series.

Sandeep Warrier
Sandeep Warrier. (Photo Source: Twitter)

3. The RCB call-up

The right-arm pacer’s early success got him an IPL contract. He impressed RCB skipper Virat Kohli as a net bowler and hence, was drafted into the squad in 2013. He stayed with the Bangalore franchise for three years but didn’t play a single game. However, Warrier doesn’t rue the fact that he couldn’t feature in a single game, he feels it was a blessing to be a part of the RCB dressing room.

4. Wants to be known as Sultan of Swing

In an interview with ESPNCricinfo, he shared insight into his world. Sandeep revealed that he has always dreamed of bowling quick and has watched Fire of Babylon at least 10 times, if not more. He disclosed the desire to be known as the ‘Sultan of Swing’.

5. He got suspended last year

The fast bowler was axed from the Kerala team ahead of the 2018-19 season. He had to miss three games of the Vijay Hazare Trophy due to inappropriate behaviour. Along with several other teammates, Warrier was punished for showing dissent to the state team skipper Sachin Baby. He was one among the five players who got banned for three matches.

6. The recent domestic success

The 27-year-old right-arm pacer made a phenomenal comeback as he was one of the shining lights in Kerala’s run through to the semi-final in the Ranji Trophy this season. He was his state’s leading wicket-taker with 44 scalps at an average of 17.54. He took four 5-wicket hauls. His match figures of 8/72 in the quarter-final against Gujarat drove Kerala into their first-ever Ranji semi-final.

He was in impressive form early in the season as well. Despite missing the first three games, he finished the Vijay Hazare Trophy with an exciting show as he picked up 12 wickets in the tournament.

Sandeep continued his form in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy as well. In six games, he picked up eight wickets. Moreover, he had an excellent economy of 5.81 in the tournament. Hence, he was subsequently signed by KKR after a couple of their promising Indian pacers were ruled out due to injury.

7. MRF pace academy

He credits a lot of this success to the MRF pace foundation. Warrier has been a regular part of the MRF academy and he trains there in offseason as well. He has developed quite a bit after connecting with the academy and credits coach M Senthilnathan for his development.

8. Part of the Rest of India side

After a grand and notable season, Sandeep Warrier was rewarded with a place in the Rest of India side for the Irani Trophy earlier this year. However, he wasn’t a part of the final playing XI.

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