Delhi's Chirag Suri is one of the 6 Associate players in the IPL 2017 auction

Delhi’s Chirag Suri is one of the 6 Associate players in the IPL 2017 auction

Chirag Suri
Chirag Suri. (Photo Source: Kevin J Larkin for The National)

Chirag Suri of the United Arab Emirates is a known figure among those who have played the ICC’s official 2015 World Cup game. Suri is in the spotlight after being named in the 351 men list who are set to go under the hammer during the IPL 2017 auctions on February 20 in Bengaluru.

The right-handed batsman who is yet to make his international debut and has played just three List A games, a lesser known Chirag was the explosive batsman during the 2014 IPL warm-up matches played in the UAE as the first leg of the tournament was hosted there.

When IPL was played in UAE (2014) I played against 5 teams in the practice games,” said Chirag talking exclusively to CricTracker after being named among players for the IPL auction. “I scored a 70 against Rajasthan Royals facing the likes of Southee (Tim Southee) and Watson (Shane Watson). Against Mumbai Indians, I scored a quick 30 and another 30 odd batting down the order. I have been doing really well in the last one year. I am happy that my performances have been noticed.

Though those matches against IPL franchises happened a while ago now, UAE’s rising star, who has been doing well in T20 tournaments recently, is happy that his desire of playing the IPL has come a step closer after disappointing returns in the previous editions.

Also read- 6 Associate players franchises have chosen for IPL 2017 auction

I always try to be positive. I have been trying to get into it (IPL) for the past few years. Finally, I could make it to the auctions. So I am very happy but it completely depends on the auctions now. Hopefully, this is the start of good things coming in.” Chirag said.

The IPL auction list of 351 players contained only six players from Associate nations with five of them from Afghanistan and Chirag being the only other player. The 21-year old is happy to have gained interest of IPL franchises over the players coming from other bigger associate nations; Ireland, Netherlands, and Scotland.

When asked about his reaction after learning that he was picked by the franchises to be auctioned an elated Chirag said, “Oh yes. Obviously, it was a great moment. There are many Ireland and Netherland players who are at bigger level. Here in UAE, there are many people who are coming from Pakistan and playing here, who can’t qualify for IPL. Since I am from India, I might have had a chance and I am happy about being named in the list. This can be a great chance for me to play in India. Let’s see what is in the store.

He represented UAE in the 2014 Under 19 World Cup and was one of the two players from his side to score a fifty in that tournament (57 vs New Zealand). Suri featured in the Red Bull Campus Cricket T20 tournament earlier this season and scored 50 and 74 against Colombo and Pune teams respectively.

Though it is a long way to go, the youngster says that he will be happy to be picked by Delhi Daredevils as he and his family have come to UAE from the Delhi. Speaking about his journey from Delhi to Dubai so far, Chirag Suri said: “I was born in Delhi. My father used to take me to cricket ground over there. We had to come to Dubai when I was 9 years old. I started to play school cricket and academy tournament there since I was 11. From the last 6 years, I have been part of the UAE age level teams and featured in the U19 Asia Cup and U19 World Cup.

He also said that he enjoys great support from his parents Jatinder Suri and Gauri Suri. “A lot of credit goes to my father and mother. They always encouraged me in pursuing my cricket career. They have given me the freedom and were always supportive. They have sent me outside for playing and helped me concentrate on the sport more than studies.