Devdutt Padikkal has been making huge waves in the Karnataka cricket circuit and is reckoned to be the next big thing. The Edapal-born cricketer is a left-handed batsman and also bowls serviceable off-spin.
Devdutt's father was always a cricket enthusiast and he spotted his son holding a bat at just a mere age of 3. Since then he has come a very long way representing India U-19 and also emerging victorious at the U-19 Asia Cup. The left-hander notched 183 runs in four matches at an average of 45.75 with a top score of 121 against the UAE in Bangladesh.
The journey started when his family decided to move from Hyderabad to Bangalore only to provide him with a better cricketing opportunity. The first thing they did after moving to Bangalore was to find him an apt cricket academy.
The Karnataka Institute of Cricket at Bangalore was the ideal place for the left-handed batsmen and soon got enrolled in the summer camp in 2009. Naseeruddin, Devdutt's coach, spotted him batting at the nets and realised that he had a talented kid in his hands.
Devdutt began to take cricket as a serious passion and school cricket played a vital role in shaping up his career. The idea of seriously pursuing cricket as a career came up with his first stint with KSCA U-14.
Devdutt has been a prolific run scorer for Karnataka in all the age categories. Consistent performances in the Vinoo Mankad Trophy and the Cooch Behar helped him get noticed by the Karnataka cricketing fraternity.
In 2017, he got picked up by the Bellary Tuskers in the KPL Draft. During the 2017 KPL, he smashed 72 against the Bengaluru Blasters and began to evoke memories of Yuvraj Singh in his earlier days.
Irfan Sait, Director of KIOC, has very much backed the young batsmen in every stage of his life. He has played a pivotal role in moulding the left-hander's career.
Recent exploits with the bat for the India U-19 team and a stint with KSCA U-23 helped Devdutt gain a spot in the Karnataka Ranji side and he made his debut against Maharashtra in Mysore. He already has two half-centuries to his name.
In 6 innings so far, Devdutt has scored a total of 163 runs with a strike rate of 52.24 and an average of 27.6 with 77 being his highest score. Recently, his efforts didn't go unnoticed as Royal Challengers Bangalore snapped him up for 20 lakhs at the IPL Draft. Next year's IPL season will be another stepping stone in his promising career.