It was a dream come true for Mohammed Azharuddeen as the Kerala player was picked up by Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction on Thursday. The wicketkeeper-batsman was bought by RCB for his base price of Rs 20 lakh.
“I am really happy to be signed by my favourite IPL team RCB. I am a huge fan of Virat (Kohli) bhai and it's priceless to share the dressing room with him,” Azhar told Onmanorama over the phone from Bengaluru where the Kerala team is gearing up for the Vijay Hazare Trophy.
The 26-year-old was expecting his maiden call-up to the glamour world of IPL ever since he smashed an unbeaten 54-ball 137 as opener against Mumbai in last month's Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. “I am happy that my maiden IPL association is with RCB. I was following the auction and my family members too were delighted with the outcome,” said Azhar, who was named after former Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin by his elder brother Kamaruddeen.
Azhar is excited to play alongside Kohli, South African great AB de Villiers and Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell in IPL 2021. “They are top quality players and to train and play along with them will be truly special,” said Azhar who hails from Thalangara in Kasaragod.
Azhar had attended the trials conducted by defending champions Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals led by his state teammate and India player Sanju Samson.
Azhar will have his senior statemate Sachin Baby and Karnataka player Devdutt Padikkal, who was born in Edappal in Malappuram district, for company in the RCB squad. “It'll be good fun for sure and we can chat in Malayalam,” added Azhar.