It is not common that a Tennis-ball player gets picked by an Indian T20 League team. But, this time around, Kolkata has done something that has left everyone surprised. They purchased Ramesh Kumar for a base price of 20 lakhs on day two of the auction.
Hailing from Punjab, Kumar is a tennis ball player who plays across the country for a living. Kumar, also known as ‘Narine Jalalabad’, had also given trials to Kolkata before but was not selected
As per reports, his father is a cobbler and his mother travels across the villages in Punjab’s Fazilka district for selling bangles.
Speaking in an interview as quoted by ABP News, Ramesh revealed that he forced his parents to quit their jobs after he got picked by Kolkata. “They have finally agreed to not work anymore. I never wanted them to do this work in the first place but it had to be done out of necessity,” he said.
Ramesh, who is also a Youtube Star, known for his six-hitting ability and turning the ball both ways, earned 500-1000 rupees a day while playing tennis ball cricket. He also said that life has not yet changed but it will when he performs for Kolkata.
“You must have seen my videos (on youtube) paaji. I am basically a tennis ball player. Since I could turn the ball away and turn back in, people advised me to play with the leather ball. They would say ‘you might make it big,” he added.
“But I didn’t have the support that I need to pursue the game professionally. I used to play an odd leather ball game but mainly it was all tennis ball cricket.”
“It started with me playing all across Punjab. When I performed, I got calls from other states too. Sometimes I made 500 in a day, sometimes it was 1000. It was just about enough to run the house and manage my travel expenses,” he said.
He said that he is used to playing with the lighter tennis ball and it will take some time before he gets used to the leather ball. “Paaji I used to bowl with cosco ball which is very light. The leather ball is much heavier and it is harder to make it turn but I am slowly getting better. I am sure the IPL stint will help my game in a big way,” he added.