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Naga teenager shortlisted to undergo trials with Mumbai Indians

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By Menuse-O Max Khieya Updated: Jan 20, 2021 10:53 pm
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Khrievitso Kense

Our Correspondent
Kohima, Jan. 20 (EMN):
Cricket may not be the most popular sport in Nagaland, unlike in other Indian states, but its popularity has grown over the years with the state team and some players making a mark in reputed national level tournaments.

After Hokaito Zhimomi, who became the first Naga to play first-class cricket, Khrievitso Kense, a budding 16-year-old cricketer from Nagaland, has been selected to undergo trials with Mumbai Indians, the five time champions of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Speaking to Eastern Mirror from Mumbai on Wednesday evening, Kense informed that he landed in the city right after Nagaland’s last match against Manipur in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy, which was played on Tuesday.

The young cricketer, who hails from Tuophema village, said that he was excited on being shortlisted for trials with the Mumbai Indians.

It was after Nagaland’s match against Arunachal Pradesh in the ongoing Syed Ali T20 Trophy that an official from Mumbai Indians approached the right-arm leg spinner. “He was watching our first match; and he saw me and called me,” Kense shared.

Nagaland won their first match against Arunachal Pradesh by nine wickets in the match where debutant Kense took a wicket. He went on to take seven wickets in four matches in the tournament held in Chennai.

When asked how he was first introduced to cricket, the young lad shared that it was only when his family shifted to Sovima village in Dimapur three years ago that he started playing the game.

“I used to train by myself at Sovima village local ground,” he said.

His Covid-19 test report has returned negative but he is maintaining the bio-bubble as he waits to join the trial on Thursday.

“In case, I bowl well, they will take me,” the player said, while exuding confidence of impressing the Mumbai Indians with his performance and get a chance to play first-class cricket.

The trials may last five or six days, he said.

Kense, whose favourite cricketer is Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma, said that he is ‘not much into batting, so he comes at number nine or 10 in the line-up during the recent tournament’.

“It’s very exciting and it’s a very big development and a boost to the cricket association,” said H Anilo Khing, honorary general secretary of Nagaland Cricket Association (NCA) on selection of Kense by the reputed cricket team.

He added that the “local boys” are performing well; and being noticed and acknowledgment by IPL teams is a sign of the “development of the game and a boost to the other players as well”.

Khing shared that Kense is a “very disciplined boy” who made it to the state’s senior team through good performance. He also appreciated Nagaland squad who did “very well” this season in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy.

Khrievitso Kense’s profile (cricket):
  • Right-arm leg spinner; right-hand batsman
  • 2017 and 2018: Played in Dimapur District Boys U-16 Inter-School Tournament.
  • 2018-19: Part of Nagaland Boys U-16 team in Vijay Merchant Trophy and took five wickets against Uttar Pradesh in his debut match in the pre-quarter finals.
  •  2018-19: Attended zonal camp for north-eastern states and also selected for inter-zonal tournament.
  •  2019-20: Part of Nagaland Boys U-16 team in Vijay Merchant Trophy.
  • 2020-21: Represented Nagaland in Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy (Plate Group) in Chennai and took seven wickets in four matches; shortlisted for Mumbai Indians trial camp to be held from January 20 to the 24th at Mumbai Reliance Cricket ground.
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By Menuse-O Max Khieya Updated: Jan 20, 2021 10:53:31 pm