Surprised at bidding war in IPL 8 auction, Zaheer Khan promises to deliver
Indian pacer Zaheer Khan has said that he felt “amazing” when he saw two franchises showing interest in purchasing him at the IPL auction on Monday. The 36-year-old was sold to Delhi Daredevils for a sum of 4 crores after initially starting off on a base price of 1 crore. He also said that he was a bit worried as to whether or not anybody would look to buy him at the auction.
“It was amazing that two teams showed such faith in me. Frankly, I was a bit concerned about how people would look at me, as I was completely out of the game for a long time. It [being picked] is an added responsibility on me," the left-arm fast bowler told ESPN Cricinfo.
‘I am looking to bowl shorter spells for the time being’
Zaheer admitted that he had an inkling that Mumbai Indians would look to get him at the auction, as the team management had been in touch with him throughout his injury rehabilitation.
"Obviously I was a part of Mumbai Indians, and I have been in touch with their management during my injury. They knew my status, and they really wanted me to be there. Surely it wasn't a surprise that they went for me.
He also revealed that he is still a few weeks away from bowling long spells in competitive matches. "I just basically want to start playing again. Things are looking good, and hopefully they will stay that way.
"The reason I stayed away from Ranji Trophy this season was because of the workload. [Playing the longer format] was still seven-eight weeks away. [But] I knew I could bowl four overs, and contribute in other ways in an IPL team by helping out younger bowlers. I don't want my last memory to be one of walking off the field injured,” Zaheer said.
‘Happy to be playing under Gary Kirsten again’
The 2011 World Cup-winner also voiced his delight at reuniting with former national coach Gary Kirsten in the Delhi set-up. "Gary has seen me for a long time, and so has Mr. Sekhar. It will be great to work with them," he said.
He also opened up about what he had been up to during his injury period and admitted to have felt frustrated at not getting another crack to represent India at the World Cup.
"Injuries do bring something. I started this new venture called ProSport which is mainly an injuries and rehabilitation centre.This injury was very different. I was aiming to play CLT20, but I got injured in May. It was very frustrating to be injured with the World Cup around the corner. I was hoping to do the right things, but my body was not responding. You got to listen to your body. If you are not ready, you are not ready,” the veteran of 92 Tests said.