Basil Thampi grabs limelight after IPL success

Basil Thampi grabs limelight after IPL success

Thampi is busy attending various cricket tournaments as chief guest, signing autographs, taking selfies with fans and obliging requests for interviews.

Basil Thampi of Gujarat Lions
Basil Thampi of Gujarat Lions. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

Over the last 10 years journey, the Indian Premier League (IPL) has been one hell of a ride. Cricketers from varied backgrounds have made it into this league and have established their name. It has time and again proved that hard work never goes unrewarded. Players, who have never been heard of in the past, became stars overnight. Amidst the legends, many youngsters through their performance have made world cricket sit and take notice of them.

One such noteworthy story is that of Gujarat Lion‘s (GL) pacer Basil Thampi, who grabbed many eyeballs this season with his pace and ability to bowl yorkers on a consistent basis. However, his side GL couldn’t quite make it to the playoffs. They finished second from the bottom in the points table. Back home after the campaign in IPL 2017, the youngster now has all the limelight on him.

Thampi is busy attending various cricket tournaments as chief guest, signing autographs and taking selfies with fans and obliging requests for interviews. On May 19 (Friday) afternoon, he was seen at the Rajagiri College ground in Kakkanad as the chief guest of an Under-15 tournament organised by his club, the Swantons. Plenty of kids were seen at the ground eagerly waiting to catch a glimpse of the pacer and almost everyone wanted to click a selfie with their IPL star. Basil didn’t disappoint either.

Humbled by the appreciation 

“I know how excited the kids would be when they meet cricketers they have seen only on TV. I was like them some five years back. In 2012, I insisted on working for a catering company owned by a friend just because it served food to Ranji Trophy cricketers at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium,” he told TOI. “I was overjoyed meeting the likes of S Sreesanth, Raiphi Vincent Gomez and Sony Cheruvathur. I have not risen to their stature but I am happy that everyone is appreciating my performances in IPL.”

In his 12 games for the franchise from Gujarat, Thampi has sneaked in 11 wickets at an economy rate of 9.49 the figures might not impress you at once. However, his scalps include stars like Chris Gayle, MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Kieron Pollard and Hashim Amla.

“Records will always show Gayle as my first IPL wicket. But more than that, I liked the way I managed to trap a batsman of his class LBW with a yorker. I used to tell my friends in my neighbourhood in Perumbavoor that if ever I played in IPL, I would like to play for RCB as that would spare me from being hit by Gayle. But here I was getting him dismissed. It was a surreal feeling,” Basil said.