Hong Kong skipper Anshuman Rath signs up with Vidarbha as local player

Hong Kong skipper Anshuman Rath signs up with Vidarbha as local player

He said players develop better in a structured system and hence zeroed in on Vidarbha after doing a lot of research.

Anshuman Rath
Anshuman Rath of Hong Kong. (Photo by Nigel Roddis – IDI/IDI via Getty Images)

He led Hong Kong from the front to give India a scare in the Asia Cup in Dubai last year. Anshuman Rath scored 73 to add 174 runs for the opening wicket with Nizakat Khan while chasing 286. Hong Kong eventually lost the match by 26 runs but Rath, 21, gave a clear impression about his talent.

Having played 18 ODIs for Hong Kong in which he averages over 51, Rath has now relocated to India to play the domestic cricket here and structure his career. He has signed up with Vidarbha and has also rented a residence in Nagpur, according to a report in Sportstar.

It has been quite a unique tale for Rath who was playing for the Edmonton Royals in Global T20 Canada under Pakistan international Mohammad Hafeez in August. Rath currently requires to get over a one-year cooling period to become eligible for selection but the southpaw has already started his stint with club cricket. On Saturday, Rath turned up for MSSC in the ‘A’ division in the annual local T20 tournament of the Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) and scored 38 against Eleven Stars.

Anshuman Rath aims to represent Vidarbha from next season

“I came in at No. 4 in my first match in India but unfortunately, we lost the game,” he told Sportstar. “I am based in Nagpur and I am currently a Vidarbha-registered player. I kickstarted all the paperwork in early October. It all happened in a flash. I wish to represent the state from the next season and as of now, I will be playing club cricket. The VCA got me registered as a local player.”

Rath’s adjustment process in the Indian conditions was facilitated by his training at the Nagpur Cricket Academy. He also said the stint with Hong Kong helped him in the process. “Playing for Hong Kong and travelling to different places has helped me adjust to these wickets a little faster than what others would. The facilities have been great. The turf nets are good and the academy is pretty much open from dawn to dusk with an indoor wicket. I am still getting used to the wickets and I have definitely got the resources now,” he added.

“There is no real coach. It is more of do-it-yourself but the main guy who organised this is Madhav Bakre [the founder of the academy]. He has made my transition to India very smooth.”

Rath said playing for Hong Kong has its demerits since there are not too many games and he also could not get a visa for English county despite having an offer from Middlesex. He said players develop better in a structured system and hence zeroed in on Vidarbha after doing a lot of research.