Rajasthan Royals have signed up four new players who will represent the team in the upcoming Indian Premier League, commencing in Kolkata on April 3.
Kerala's one-day captain Sachin Baby, wicketkeeper Sanju Viswanath Samson, Jharkhand medium pacer Rahul Shukla and Mumbai left arm spinner Harmeet Singh are all set to join the team's training camp soon to prepare for the sixth edition of the T20 league, said a media release here today.
The Royals will be captained by Rahul Dravid, while Paddy Upton would be their high performance coach.
The 18-year-old Samson, who made his Ranji Trophy debut in 2011 against Vidarbha and hit two centuries this season, was recently appointed vice-captain of the Kerala team for the Vijay Hazare Trophy.
A budding Under-19 Asia Cup star, Sanson attended Rajasthan Royals' selection trials, which were held on January 27, 28 and 29.
Vijay Hazare Trophy captain, Sachin Baby has been a consistent performer for Kerala in the last few years and was among the top run-scorers in the invitational Buchi Babu Tournament and Hazare Trophy.
The 24-year-old left-handed batsman made his first class debut against Andhra in 2009. Since then, Baby has appeared in 14 first class and domestic matches, and has scored 492 runs with a highest score of 104 at an average of 49.20.
Jharkhand's 22-year-old right-arm medium pacer, Rahul Shukla, who made his first class debut in 2009 against Tripura and played 11 matches, was a part of the IPL in the 2010 and 2012 seasons and took seven wickets at 15.71 from four Twenty20 games with an economy rate of 7.17.
Recruited a few months back, Mumbai's young spinner Harmeet Singh has represented India in two Under-19 ICC World Cups in 2010 and 2012 and was one of the main pillars for India, helping the team win the title with his economy rate of 3.02.
The 20-year-old slow left-arm bowler led Mumbai at the U-16 and U-19 levels before making a magnificent first-class debut in 2009, when he grabbed a match-winning seven wickets against Himachal Pradesh.
Dravid said the four talented players would add depth and variety to the IPL side.
"The Indian Premier League has been an excellent platform for encouraging the growth of fresh talent in our country.
Rajasthan Royals have always been at the forefront in identifying and providing adequate opportunities to upcoming cricketers. These four confident players will provide more depth and variation to our team during IPL 2013," said the former India captain.
The Royals CEO Raghu Iyer added that he was confident that the youngsters will prove to be asset to the squad.
"As a team, we have been very passionate about nurturing and promoting young and promising talent. We believe there are many budding cricketers out there who need to be given the right platform to perform. We are thrilled to be giving four aspiring players an opportunity to play with us and are confident that their skills will be an asset to the squad," said.
First Published: March 7, 2013, 4:30 pm