Shivil Kaushik signs to play with Hull CCC in England
One of the sensations of the recently concluded IPL season, 20-year-old left-arm spinner Shivil Kaushik of Gujarat Lions, has signed a contract with 141-year-old club Hull CCC in the Yorkshire Premier League. Shivil will be leaving for his English stint within a week, as confirmed to Sportskeeda by his new club.
Shivil does not have a contract with any of India’s domestic sides. He had been discovered by scouts of Hubli Tigers in the Karnataka Premier League, where he was so impressive that he was picked up by the Rajkot-based IPL side in the February auctions for INR 10 lakhs. With no Ranji Trophy action to look towards in the upcoming season, like most other IPL cricketers, Shivil will be heading for British shores.
Hull County Cricket Club have told Sportskeeda, “Shivil will be with us shortly. We are very much looking forward to having him join us for the rest of the season. We’ve obviously seen him in the IPL and we’re sure he’ll be a great success over here in the Yorkshire Premier League. We won our first 4 games in the League but we have slipped up in recent weeks. With the addition of Shivil, we’re hoping to get back to winning ways.”
His club also hopes that he is able to stay with the team for the whole of the season, which is due to get over in September.
Shivil’s bowling figures in the IPL, though impressive enough in their own right (6 wickets in 7 matches at an economy rate of 8.3). did not grab as many headlines as his unusual bowling action, which was in itself a sight audiences watched matches for.
He fits the term ‘mystery spinner’ more than anybody else has ever done, “he himself confesses that he doesn’t know which one will turn which way,” Hubli coach Anutosh Poll had once said.
We could tell Sarfaraz was going to move on to better things: Hull CCC
Hull CCC are based in the city of Kingston upon Hull, a city more known for its football club, but they have hosted plenty of high-profile cricketers in their heydays. It has been a proud cricketing hub since 1875, having hosted 89 first-class matches from 1899 to 1974.
They are currently participating in the Yorkshire Premier League North, a 12-team league of the premier club competition in the county, which forms a vital part of England’s domestic cricket pyramid structure.
Shivil will be brushing shoulders with several big names in English county cricket in his time there, including one of the biggest names in Yorkshire cricket, who plays for Hull, Andrew Simpson. Since current records began to be calculated in 2004, Simpson was the first man to reach 10,000 League runs and is the leading run-scorer across all 28 ECB Premier Leagues. Ali Asad (Pakistan A) is in his 3rd year playing for Driffield. David Wainwright, former Yorkshire and Derbyshire pro and Will Rhodes, current Yorkshire pro, are some of the others.
There are seven overseas players in the twelve teams this season in the Yorkshire Premier League North, and therefore, it can safely be assumed that Shivil will have no dearth of exposure in his time there.
Interestingly, there have been five Indian players who have played as Hull CCC’s overseas player in the last fifteen years, including India U-19 star Sarfaraz Khan. The paths for Sarfaraz and Shivil leading to Hull CCC are also the same – an international sporting exchange scheme called ‘Cricket without Boundaries’, founded by Dr Samir Pathak, who is from Hull and was a good cricketer himself.
Describing the 16-year-old Sarfaraz’s stay at Hull CCC, his club said, “The weather was poor then, he only played 2 games, scoring 12 runs. Despite this we could all tell he was going to go on to better things.” Within a few months of that short stay, Sarfaraz had secured an IPL contract and had become a household name.
Shivil said that he is looking forward to his stint at English county cricket, saying, “My IPL experience has given me a lot of confidence. Picking the wickets of Yuvraj Singh and Glenn Maxwell is something I shall never forget.”
Many high-profile batsmen in the IPL confessed that they were finding it very difficult to understand Shivil’s bowling because of his unique delivery stride. Several British batsmen will be facing the same problem in a few days’ time, and it shall be interesting to see if Shivil gains enough from his experience there to move on to better things as well.
No more is Shivil’s sole claim to fame the fact that he is the only bowler in the IPL who can talk to mid-off while bowling, he will also be the only Indian IPL cricketer to be plying his trade in England.