Kings-XI-Punjab-bowler-Praveen-Kumar-bowls
Praveen Kumar wants to make a comeback to the Indian team © PTI

 

Feb 23, 2014

 

Former India pacer Praveen Kumar says that he is surprised with Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises giving him a miss during the recently concluded Player Auctions and says that he aims to make a comeback to the national team once again.

 

“Frankly, I didn’t expect to go unsold. I have done well at all levels, be it IPL, Ranji Trophy, Duleep Trophy, Deodhar Trophy or international cricket. It’s just that my shoulder injury took a long time to heal,” said Praveen who was speaking to the Times of India.

 

“IPL is a great tournament and it would have given me the opportunity to make a comeback. I was disappointed, but I am prepared to work hard again. I reached this level by working hard and that’s what I need to do again. I will go back to the domestic circuit, prove myself again and make a comeback. Last time I missed out playing the World Cup narrowly. There’s still time left for the World Cup and I am keen to be part of the squad,” added Praveen who now is targeting a berth in the Indian squad for the ICC World Cup 2015.

 

The last time the former India pacer represented the country was during the legendary Sachin Tendulkar’s final One-Day international game against Pakistan at Mirpur, two years ago, and since then has been out of favour with the national team’s selectors.

 

When queried about his shoulder injury he suffered during IPL 2013, Praveen replied, “The shoulder is in good shape now. I don’t have any pain and have been bowling well. People said I could have opted for surgery a bit earlier, but I followed the advice of the experts at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) and got it done when they told me to go for it.”

 

Though Praveen has also faced a horde of fitness and disciplinary issues over the last couple of years, the IPL may just have been his last chance to make a comeback into the national side, and he may count himself unlucky that none of the eight franchises bothered enough to even make a bid on him.

 

On questions of his IPL snub, Praveen said, “I don’t know. Only they can answer. Getting selected in any team is not in my hand. What I can do is to work hard again and prove that I am still useful.”

 

“I was keen to play Ranji Trophy this season. I have always enjoyed playing First-class cricket. It gives an opportunity to bowl long spells but unfortunately my surgery happened during the season,” added Praveen.

 

But Praveen is not a player who will be bogged down by the recent turn of events in his career and vows that he will be trying to take out the positives from what has turned out to be a topsy-turvy run in professional cricket.

 

“Before my injury, I had been consistently playing cricket for long time. This break allowed him to spend a lot of time with my new-born baby. Being a father has made me a lot more responsible. I think I have matured as a person,” said Praveen.

 

“I don’t show too many emotions now. I have always played cricket in a competitive manner and I will continue to play that way, but I know now where to draw the line. I want people to talk about my bowling skills rather than other issues,” signed off Praveen.

The last time the former India pacer represented the country was during the legendary Sachin Tendulkar’s final One-Day international game against Pakistan at Mirpur, two years ago, and since then has been out of favour with the national team’s selectors.