This year’s Indian Premier League will be graced, for the first time ever, by a UAE player; Chirag Suri.
That’s right, a UAE international will be mixing it with the big boys on Twenty20 cricket’s grandest stage.
And for those not familiar with Suri, we profile the UAE star bound for the IPL.
Are you looking forward to watching him in action?
IS HE EMIRATI?
No, Suri is actually a Delhi native but moved to the UAE in Grade Six aged six-years-old.
Now 22, Suri lives in Dubai with his family who headed to the UAE back in 2001, his dad establishing the RMF family firm that specialises in marble, granite and timber supplies.
WHICH SCHOOL DID HE GO TO?
When Suri arrived in Dubai, he first went to Dubai Modern High School in Nad Al Sheba.
He then moved next door to Repton School three years later in year nine.
WHAT CLUB DOES HE PLAY FOR?
Suri turns out for Sharjah Club, where he has enjoyed a stellar year with the bat.
WHAT DOES HE DO WHEN HE’S NOT PLAYING CRICKET?
Still in education, Suri studies at Heriot-Watt University in Dubai.
He graduates in November of this year from a BBA in Business and Administration.
WHEN DID HE MAKE HIS UAE DEBUT?
Suri’s full international debut came against Kenya as an 18-year-old in the UAE’s World Cup Qualifying campaign in New Zealand in the Super Sixes stage.
An under-19 World Cup followed, giving Suri the chance to be a future star across all formats.
Since then, it has been a trickier time for the cricketer on the international stage, where he has played just two more official UAE games.
WHAT KIND OF PLAYER IS HE?
Essentially, an elegant stroke-maker with resolute defence and sound technique.
Suri has long been seen as the UAE’s most promising four-day player and his game certainly lends to the longer formats.
As proven by a number of international players, however, a good technique can bring success in any aspect of the game.
WHO BOUGHT HIM AT THE AUCTION?
The Gujarat Lions took a punt on Suri, where he will join the likes of Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Brendon McCullum, Jason Roy and Aaron Finch.
That is some company to keep!
HOW MUCH DID HE COST?
An absolute bargain, Suri cost the Lions 10 lakhs (Dh55,000).
They should recoup that money in shirts bought in the UAE alone!
As is the case every year, some really big names went unsold in the Indian Premier League [IPL] auction on Monday.
What one must remember is that teams have very few slots to fill, so world-class players getting snubbed is more down to that rather than the ability of a particular player.
What did you make of the auction?
Ishant has showed some encouraging form for India in Test cricket lately, but found no takers this IPL. His very average economy rate may have played a part.
The No1 ranked bowler in T20 internationals, the South African was surprisingly not picked. He is the second fastest bowler to pick up 50 T20I wickets and has an excellent economy rate of 6.38.
Can't understand how Imran Tahir has gone unsold at the IPL. He is an asset to any team - and not just for his celebrations.— Firdose Moonda (@FirdoseM) February 20, 2017
Despite making a stunning 171 in an ODI late last year against Pakistan, the England opener and the ninth ranked batsman in T20Is, found himself out of favour with the IPL franchisees.
Once the blue-eyed boy of Indian cricket, Pathan will miss out on IPL action this year [unless roped in as a replacement later]. In 2011, he received a bid of $1.9 million from Delhi. It really is a wake-up call for the Gujarat player.
The man who played a vital role in two West Indies ICC World T20 wins did not receive any bid. Samuels hasn’t done anything of note since the 85 not out against England in the 2016 World T20 final.
The Indian Premier League [IPL] auction for 2017 saw huge demand for fast bowlers and all-rounders, as is evident from the following list.
Out of the top five buys at the auction, each one of them gives you four overs with their pace bowling in a T20 game, with Ben Stokes also having a lot of ability with the bat.
What did you make of the auction?
BEN STOKES (RISING PUNE SUPERGIANTS – INR 14.5cr)
The 25-year-old England and Durham star was the talk of the 2017 IPL auction, triggering an intense bidding war between four franchisee before he was snapped up by Pune. His all-round prowess is well known, but the new England Test vice-captain is only ranked 44th in the ICC T20I all-rounder rankings and has been injury-prone lately.
TYMAL MILLS (ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE – INR 12cr)
For someone who cannot bowl long spells because of a congenital back condition, the 24-year-old England and Sussex fast bowler has worked it to his advantage by becoming a premier limited overs player. His pace and guile will be a perfect fit in a team like Bangalore, which is teeming with quality batsmen.
TRENT BOULT (KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS – INR 5cr)
Sunil Narine, Shakib Al Hasan and Piyush Chawla give Kolkata plenty of spin options, but they needed a couple of good fast bowlers, and Trent Boult is just that. With an average of 20.50 and an economy rate of 7.88, he can make a big impact, especially if the ball starts to swing in humid conditions.
KAGISO RABADA (DELHI DAREDEVILS – INR 5cr)
Rabada impressed one and all with his superb bowling performances in the U-19 Cricket World Cup in the UAE in 2014, and has gone from strength to strength for the Proteas after graduating to the national squad. The 21-year-old will be a handful for his IPL rivals with his consistency.
Success is a lousy teacher— kagiso rabada (@KagisoRabada25) February 20, 2017
PAT CUMMINS (DELFHI DAREDEVILS – INR 4.5cr)
Clearly, Delhi had a game plan to put together a quality bowling side and spent most of their money on two fast bowlers – Rabada and Australia’s Pat Cummins. The Sydneysider has struggled a bit with his fitness, but when on song, he could be part of a lethal partnership with his new South African teammate.