The filmic story of Jasprit Bumrah’s discovery

A young player is spotted by a big shot. Impressed by his raw talent, the big shot invites the youngster for a trial. The youngster aces the trial, and the next thing you know, he turns into an international phenomenon. No, this is not a fail-safe plotline of a movie but the real life story of Jasprit Jasbir Singh Bumrah.

Anil Patel, the secretary of Ahmedabad’s district cricket body, Central Board of Cricket Ahmedabad, was at the MG Science Institute ground in the university’s campus when he noticed a skinny boy playing for a school called Nirman HS in the plate division of the schools competition. Patel was struck by the pace that the youngster was generating on the practice wickets and asked him to join the Gujarat Cricket Association under-19 districts camp in Motera.

Bumrah’s pace in the nets was not only far quicker than his fellow quicks but something unprecedented in the area. Fast forward a bit and Bumrah was now representing his state.

The story seems too filmic to be true, but a Bumrah yorker broke the toe of his teammate, who was set to be selected for the Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy, and Bumrah, who was initially the fourth-choice seamer, got into the team instead.

It was March 18, 2013 when Bumrah’s team, led by Indian wicketkeeper-batsman Parthiv Patel, was playing Mumbai at the Motera B ground in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. Mumbai Indians’ then head coach and former Indian coach John Wright noticed a boy giving top quality batsman like Aditya Tare and Abhishek Nayar a tough time, with back-to-back overs of unbelievable yorkers.

In the words of Abhishek Nayar, now assistant coach at Kolkata Knight Riders, “they couldn’t get him off the square”.

One of Bumrah’s deliveries landed on a foot mark and whizzed over skipper Parthiv Patel’s head to zoom past the boundary. This got John Wright to sit up and take notice. After seeing Bumrah bowl for two overs, he had a word with Parthiv Patel and then made a call to the Mumbai Indians management.

Soon, Bumrah was at the Wankhede Stadium, bowling in the Mumbai Indians’ nets. He played only two matches for the franchise in 2013, when he made his IPL debut, but displayed his real talent from 2016 onwards and has since become an integral part of the franchise.

Bumrah impressed the then Indian skipper MS Dhoni on his international debut against Australia in January 2016 and has never looked back from there on. With 231 wickets from 128 international matches already under his belt at the age of just 26, it is Bumrah’s talent which has got him from the dusty grounds of Ahmedabad to the zenith of international cricket.

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