James Neesham opens up on making a comeback in IPL after six long years

Neesham hopes to teach something valuable to the youngsters through his experience and is quite confident about his team winning the trophy this year.

James Neesham
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James Neesham. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

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New Zealand’s all-rounder James Neesham is excited to make his comeback in the Indian Premier League after a span of six years. Neesham will be representing the IPL franchise Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in the 13th edition of the cash-rich league, which is slated to begin from September 19 across three venues namely Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. Neesham was the only New Zealand player to grab a contract in the 2020 Auctions. He was bought by KXIP at a meagre amount of Rs. 50 Lakhs.

James had reached UAE a few days back and is currently serving a mandatory six-day quarantine period before he can join the KXIP camp. In his latest interview, the all-rounder described his feelings on making a comeback after 6 years and his debut in IPL in 2014. He also spoke about his strategy for the upcoming edition and his opinion over the stellar squad of the Punjab franchise.

The Kiwi cricketer had grabbed his first IPL contract from Delhi Capitals in 2014 edition. He featured in the playing XI of only four games, where he scored 42 runs and took one wicket at an economy of 10.11. After being released by the Capitals the following year, he was signed by Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) for 2015 edition but James couldn’t play even a single match due to an injury.

We can certainly win a lot of games and the tournament: James Neesham

“It is my first time getting involved in a long time. It is exciting to come as an older player and as an experienced player. Last time I played for Delhi. I did not know what I needed to do to succeed. It was a challenge back then,” Neesham said while remembering his IPL debut, as quoted by Hindustan Times.

Kings XI Punjab looks a balanced side with the presence of legends like Glenn Maxwell, Sheldon Cottrell, Mohammed Shami, Chris Jordan, Mandeep Singh, and other top-notch players. The team will be looking forward to win its maiden T20 Championship title in the 2020 edition under the leadership of KL Rahul and head coach Anil Kumble.

Neesham hopes to teach something valuable to the youngsters through his experience and is quite confident about his team winning the trophy this year.

“This time I have come with a steadier head and knowledge under the belt and hopefully I can pass that knowledge to some of the younger guys in the squad. Really excited about our team, we got some of the biggest names in the world in Chris Gayle and Glenn Maxwell and it is a team that can certainly win a lot of games and the tournament,” the 29-year-old concluded.