India-born Kiwi spinner Ajaz Patel wants to play the IPL
Patel has an impressive record in New Zealand’s domestic cricket with 187 wickets in 44 first-class matches.
Published - Jul 31, 2018 5:28 pm | Updated - Jul 31, 2018 9:15 pm
29-year-old India-born left-arm orthodox bowler Ajaz Patel was picked in the New Zealand national side for the three-Test series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in October. Should Patel get to make his debut in the series, he will be the fifth India-born cricketer to play for the Kiwis.
Patel has an impressive record in New Zealand’s domestic cricket with 187 wickets in 44 first-class matches with 16 five-wicket hauls and has been the highest wicket-taker for three years in Plunket Shield, the country’s domestic tournament, now. The opportunity came his way after Mitchell Santner was ruled out with an injury in March for more than six months.
Speaking to timesnownews.com in an exclusive interaction, he said the call-up to the national side was something he did not expect and it was also something which left him “speechless”. He, however, said that he had never given up his dream of playing for New Zealand and it pushed him to work that much harder.
Want to play the IPL
He is a Mumbai Indians’ fan, bowled to the team in the nets last winter and would love to get an opportunity to feature in the IPL.
“I would love to play in the IPL one day. I have been to watch a few Mumbai Indians’ games. I was also very fortunate to have the opportunity last winter when I was in Mumbai to net bowl to the Mumbai Indians. It was a great experience and something that I really enjoyed,” the Kiwi cricketer said.
Fell in love with the game
Born in Mumbai in 1988, the Patel family shifted to New Zealand when Ajaz was eight and there, he got enrolled into cricket and his love for the game only grew more. “I fell in love with the game from the outset,” he said.
About shifting from pace bowling into spin, Patel said he opted for the change to do better in the game. “I was passionate about getting further with my cricket, I knew that I would need to make a change and try something else and I decided that spin was my strongest option,” he said.
He also said that he will try to learn as much as possible and as quick as possible during New Zealand A tour of the UAE ahead of the Test series.
Fluent in Hindi, Ajaz visits India once in every two-three years.
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