India‘s spearhead fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah recalls how the proceedings unfolded with John Wright in 2013 which led to Mumbai Indians calling him and asking him to sign with them. The Ahmedabad-born pacer has become a key part of the Rohit Sharma-led side and has been a part of all their five title wins so far.
He revealed that John Wright, Mumbai Indians talent scout, spotted him during a domestic T20 match between Gujarat and Mumbai. Wright, a former India coach, was so impressed with Bumrah that he came back again to see him play, and then suggested Mumbai Indians give a contract to him for the IPL.
In a conversation with Dinesh Karthik for Sky Sports, Jasprit Bumrah said:
“I was just selected for the T20 competition, and that was just my second game and it was against Mumbai. So, John Wright had come to watch Akshar. I didn’t know I would get picked. I didn’t pick a lot of wickets, I just picked one but I bowled really well, I didn’t give a lot of runs.
“So, he came to watch one more game. He enquired and PP (Parthiv Patel) told me that he was asking about me. I thought he was clearly joking and making fun of me. After a few days, I got a call from the Mumbai Indians and they asked me, ‘Are you interested?’ I said, ‘Of course, I am interested, that’s not even a question. Are you guys interested?'”
The 27-year-old now has Jasprit Bumrah 115 IPL wickets to his name at a brilliant economy of 7.4 and has emerged as arguably the best death bowler in the world.
I had an interesting partnership with Malinga: Jasprit Bumrah
Jasprit Bumrah talked about his relationship with Sri Lankan legend Lasith Malinga over the years. Malinga has been part of MI from the first season until 2019, and Bumrah has learned plenty of his skills from the Sri Lankan.
“I had an interesting partnership with Malinga. He usually doesn’t talk a lot but he came up to me on his own and said, ‘I saw your bowling in the last game and I feel you can really do well.’ I connected with him on that level and he told me that you have got a lot of things to offer.
“Since then the partnership has been good. He still talks to me, even during those phases when I was really eager to play international cricket. He taught me a lot of things. He said that hard times will come and before playing international cricket, you need to see everything,” Bumrah said.
Jasprit Bumrah is currently in England for the Test series; he will then fly to the UAE for the second half of the IPL 2021, where his aim would be to help Mumbai make a hat-trick of IPL titles, before participating in the T20 World Cup, where he will have to shoulder responsibility as India wish to end their ICC title drought.