Nagaland’s 16-year-old leg spinner Khrievitso Kense has been some extent of dialogue among the cricketing fraternity of the country within the last several days. Kense, a carpenter’s son from Sovima village near Dimapur, is that the youngest Indian players to feature within the list of players for auction for cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL).
But how this teenager has reached this far with very limited facilities during a state like Nagaland?
“I was initially bowling off-spin. But my fingers started paining. Then i attempted leg-spin. I didn’t have anyone to teach me. So I followed Shane Warne on TV and phone,” Kense was quoted as saying in an interview.
Currently, he's in quarantine in Chennai before the Vijay Hazare Trophy which starts on February 18.
Credit: The News Mill
He features a base price of Rs 20 lakh and therefore the buzz is that both the Mumbai Indians and the Rajasthan Royals are eyeing the youngest player in an auction pool of 292. He turns 17 on March 6.
“I never had a leg-spin coach, I learnt all alone. There was a sir who would just guide me as I played U-16 cricket,” he said.
With the assistance of an area coach, Kense need to play at the U-16 level and made everyone stay up and see his skills with a five-wicket haul on debut against Uttar Pradesh during a Vijay Merchant Trophy’s 2018-19 pre-quarterfinal.
Nagaland senior team captain Rongsen Jonathan and his deputy Hokaito Zhimomi then called him for senior camp last year where he grabbed the eye of state coach Kanwaljit Singh, a former Hyderabad off-spinner who’s with the team for quite three years.
He was called by Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals for trials last month before being included within the 292-strong IPL 2021 auction list.
Now with the excitement before the auction which takes place February 18, Kense isn't in the least worried or thinking over it.
“I am ‘bindaas’ (carefree) and not thinking much about the auction. The team supports me well and yes we'll watch it (the auction) together,” the Nagaland boy said.
Nagaland coach Kanwaljit says: “He impressed me together with his trajectory which is ideally fitted to any format of the sport. For a child of his age, he also showed excellent control and hardly bowled any loose deliveries. it had been exceptional.”
Nagaland vice-captain Hokaito Zhimomi who was a part of Kolkata Knight Riders during the initial IPL days, says that if picked by some franchise, it'll be a revolution within the state.
“Now we all are excited for him. he's doing well and fingers crossed if he makes it then he will start a revolution here and lots of more will follow. we've many talented cricketers and it'll create good and healthy competition. I hope he achieves what I couldn't,” Hokaito reckoned.