‘I didn’t want to watch anymore’ – Windies pacer Cottrell recalls IPL draft anxiety, ready to rock competition

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SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JUNE 10: Sheldon Cottrell of West Indies celebrates taking the wicket of Hashim Amla of South Africa during the Group Stage match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 between South Africa and West Indies at The Hampshire Bowl on June 10, 2019 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)
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West Indies fast bowler, Sheldon Cottrell, has admitted he was too nervous to keep watching the IPL draft bidding process, once it landed on his name, but is now eager to give it his all in a first season with Kings XI Punjab.

The Mohali-based franchise splashed out a handsome Rs 8.5 crore (US$1,139,160.65) for the fast bowler who has become known as much for his blistering pace as his Rockstar-style army salute.  During the draft, however, the former army man admits that he had simply hoped to be selected and could not stand to watch for the figure the gavel would eventually rest at.

“I was in a hotel room with Evin Lewis. So, I watched everyone’s auction before me and I was comfortable watching it. But then when my turn came, I was like ‘oh man!’. And when I heard the first bid on me, I just went to the balcony and I was like ‘yes!’. I didn’t want to see it anymore, I wanted to see just one bid, to be honest. ‘Yes, I am going to play in the IPL!’. But then two minutes after the bidding was still going, I took a peek and Evin Lewis was more excited than I was. I was just nervous. But yes, it was a great feeling. I can never forget that feeling and moment ever in my life,” Cottrell said in a recent interview with WION.

The onset of the Covid-19 epidemic, however, put the player’s dream debut on hold.  With the tournament, which will now be held in the United Arab Emirates, scheduled to bowl off next month, Cottrell is shifting into competition mode.

“I am really looking forward to it. I have been waiting for this for all my cricketing career, to tell you the truth. But more eagerly in the past four to five months. I have been ready mentally and physically. Even with the lockdown, I have been keeping myself in shape, ready, just in case the call comes. So I am totally ready and can’t wait to go onto the park with the Kings XI Punjab.” (www.sportsmax.tv)

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