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Having missed cricket for over a year, Kamlesh Nagarkoti says he is neither playing nor studying

"It’s been tough, no doubt."

Kamlesh Nagarkoti
Kamlesh Nagarkoti of India U19. (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

He made an impressive mark in the Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand last year and got a call in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 straightaway, along with his mates Prithvi Shaw, Shubman Gill and Shivam Mavi. Kamlesh Nagarkoti’s ability to generate pace caught eyes and the Rajasthan speedster was picked by Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) for a whopping Rs 3.2 crore in the auction.

But the 19-year-old was soon struck by a foot injury and missed the entire 2018 season. His condition didn’t improve as many would have liked and now has been ruled out of the 2019 season of the IPL as well. This year, Mavi, who played nine games last season, has also been ruled out by an injury. The KKR has brought in Kerala seamer Sandeep Warrier in place of Kamlesh but the teenage pacer is not happy the way things have unfolded for him.

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Kamlesh is worried over the fact that he is not doing anything productive as he nurses his injury. He last played a competitive game in February 2018 which was in Vijay Hazare Trophy. Speaking to ESPNcricinfo, he said: “At 19, I must be running in and bowling fast. But here I am, not playing, not studying, out injured, away from home, all by myself, and trying to get fit even as my friends are playing in the IPL and for India A.”

“It’s been tough, no doubt,” he said. Shaw and Shubman have gone on to make their respective India debuts.

Dravid asked Nagarkoti to prepare for India call and not think much about IPL

Kamlesh, however, has recalled the co-operation he has received from India’s colts’ coach Rahul Dravid during his period of rehabilitation. He also said about Dravid advising him not to think about missing the IPL and focus on making it to the national team.

“He told me, ‘don’t think life is over if you miss one or two IPL seasons, you have to play for India. You have to be strong for that,” Kamlesh said about the former India captain.

The teenage cricketer went to London to seek treatment for his injury issues and is currently undergoing rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy.

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