8 Intriguing facts about Basil Thampi

Basil Thampi is having a great time in his debut IPL season.

Basil Thampi
Basil Thampi. (Photo Source: BCCI)
Salman Khan

Sr. Staff Writer

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Basil Thampi impressed many with his pace and immaculate yorkers in this year’s IPL. The fast bowler plays for Kerala in the Ranji Trophy and was procured by Gujarat Lions in the IPL auctions in February this year for an 85 lakhs, which is big for an uncapped cricketer.

He got the wicket of Chris Gayle in Gujarat Lions’ last game against RCB on Tuesday. Thampi referred to the moment as the best feeling of his life, especially because Gayle was clobbering the bowlers around but Thampi sent him back with a great toe-crushing yorker.

The 23-year-old was picked by Gujarat due to his outstanding performance in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy for Kerala, where he picked 8 wickets in 5 games at an economy rate of 6.22. His teammate Dwayne Bravo has already said that the fast bowler will be playing for India in the next couple of years. So who exactly is Basil Thampi? Let us find out with some unknown facts about him stated below:

So who exactly is Basil Thampi? Let us find out with some unknown facts about the youngster:

1. Roots and beginnings

Thampi was born in Ernakulam, a district in Kochi in the state of Kerala, on September 11, 1993. He was born in a lower-middle-class family.

2. Early in-roads

He played a lot of tennis ball cricket before taking up the game professionally. He has credited his tennis ball experience in helping him to learn how to bowl those yorkers.

3. Club Cricket in Chennai

Basil played club cricket for Globe trotters in Chennai where he was spotted by Tinu Yohannan. The former India bowler then took him to the nets of Chemplast Sanmar Club where he bowled at the likes of Murali Vijay, S Badrinath and Dinesh Karthik and impressed all. He was later signed up for the club to play league cricket.

4. Stint at the MRF Pace Academy

The 23-year-old had the fortune of training at the MRF Pace Academy in Chennai and impressed the coach Glenn McGrath, the former Australian legend. McGrath advised the youngster to never compromise on his natural talent of bowling fast.

5. Almost quit cricket at a tender age of 19

Since he hailed from a humble family, his father being a caterer in Kochi, Thampi wanted to quit cricket and head to the middle-east in quest of earning money and supporting his family. He thanks his mentor Prasad, C.M. Deepak from the Swantons cricket club and his former Kerala coach Tinu Yohannan for urging him to carry on with the game.

6. First-class debut for Kerala

After considerable struggles, Thampi finally made his Ranji Trophy debut for Kerala in December 2014. He was selected to play in the one-day and T20 games in the preceding season which led to his first-class debut.

7. Solid showings in domestic cricket

Thampi impressed many with his pace as he can regularly hit the early 140’s kmph. It was the Syed Mushtaq Ali tournament in the beginning of this year where he announced himself. Kumble took notice of it and also called him to bowl at the Indian nets ahead of the fourth Border-Gavaskar Test in Dharamsala. He was selected to play the zonal T20’s for the South Zone this year.

8. Picked up by Gujarat Lions

When he was bowling in the nets to the Indian Test squad, he went under the hammer in the auctions, unaware of the development. He was later informed about the auction and that the Gujarat Lions signed him for 8.5 times his base price.

The experience of playing along Suresh Raina, Brendon McCullum, Irfan Pathan, former India fast bowlers Munaf Patel and Praveen Kumar will keep him in good stead for the future.