Sunrisers Hyderabad pacer Khaleel Ahmed idolizes Zaheer Khan

His main aim is to play for India by doing well in the upcoming edition of the Indian T20 league.

Khaleel Ahmed
Khaleel Ahmed bowls in the nets. (Photo Source: Twitter)

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It was a day to remember for the young Indian cricketer Syed Khaleel Ahmed as he racked a whopping Rs. 3 crore on the first day of the India Premier League (IPL) auction. He was one of the very few uncapped players who attracted bids and in his case, it went into crores. The youngster is delighted to have earned this opportunity to feature in the upcoming edition of the IPL.

The 20-year-old hails from Rajasthan and was on the radar of the franchises after an excellent outing for his state team in the recently concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 trophy. He was the second highest wicket-taker in the tournament as his team ended the competition as the runners-up losing to Delhi in the final. The left-arm pacer picked as many as 17 wickets in 10 matches at an average of 15.77. His economy during this period was 6.77 only which is commendable in the shortest format of the game.

The fast bowler had attended the trails for Rajasthan Royals and Delhi Daredevils ahead of the IPL 2018 auction and was thus certain to earn a contract.

Khaleel Ahmed, while speaking exclusively to CricTracker, expressed his delight after being picked by SRH. “I was extremely happy as the hard work paid off for me. I performed well in Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy and bowled in the higher 140s consistently. I also worked hard on my fitness during this period and I knew that I would be picked by some team in the auction,” he said.

Looks up to Zaheer Khan

He was a part of the Daredevils squad in the previous edition of the IPL and thus got the opportunity to play under the watchful eyes of his idol and one of India’s greatest pace bowlers ever Zaheer Khan. Khaleel took inspiration from Zaheer and that was one of the instigators that got him into the sport. He now shares his trade as a left-arm seamer with Zak and also has a very similar jump that leads him into the delivery stride.

“My one and only cricketing idol is Zaheer Khan. I used to love to emulate his action and then had a great time with him during my stint with Delhi Daredevils,” the 17-year-old said. “When you play with your idol, it helps you a lot and he also inspires when you are on the field.

“I am a specialist death bowler and variations, speed and yorker are my USPs,” Khaleel concluded saying that his main aim is to play for India by doing well in the upcoming edition of the Indian T20 league.