Praveen Kumar is an Indian professional cricketer who exemplifies the typical Indian medium pacer. Known for his ability to swing the ball both ways along with line and length, Kumar was an integral part of the Indian cricket team for many years.
Kumar was born on 2nd October 1986 in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh. He currently represents Uttar Pradesh in first class cricket.
Kumar was the 7th bowler in Indian Premier League history to take a hat-trick against Rajasthan Royals at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore,
Born in a poor family, Kumar had to face many difficulties in his journey to become one of the successful swing bowlers for India. He first came to limelight for his performances for India Red in the NKP Salve Challenger Trophy 2007.
In November 2007, Kumar made his ODI debut for India against arch rivals Pakistan at Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur. He did not have a dream debut as he went on to concede 50 runs off 10 overs he bowled.
Kumar saw many ups and downs in his career but the period from 2008 to 2010 was his best as he established himself as the premier opening bowler for India in the ODI format.
His performances in ODI cricket were rewarded with a test call up for India's twin tours of England and West Indies. Praveen ended up with 27 wickets in the six test caps.
Rise to Glory
Praveen came into prominence and rose into instant stardom with 10 wickets in just 4 matches at the fag end of the CB Trophy in Australia which also included two 4-wicket hauls helping India clinch the tri-nation tournament.
His ability to swing the new ball along with deceptive pace caused a lot of consternation amongst batsmen. His impressive performance helped him grab an Indian Premier League contract with the Royal Challengers Bangalore worth $300,000.
In the 2010 season of the IPL, Praveen had a great campaign with the Royal Challengers and also managed a hat-trick against the Rajasthan Royals, becoming the seventh player in the history of the cash-rich league to achieve the feat. During the 2011 auctions, Kumar was bought by Kings XI Punjab for a whopping $800,000.
Unfortunately, he found no buyers in the 2014 IPL auctions and went unsold. However, Mumbai Indians bought him as their replacement for the injured Zaheer Khan.
He was picked up by the Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL 2015 auctions for a fee of Rs. 2.2 crore. The new-franchise, Gujarat Lions, led by Suresh Raina, picked Praveen Kumar in their debut IPL season in 2016.
Off-field issues have dogged him in the past though. On May 2008, he was accused of having assaulted a doctor in Meerut. During India's tour of England in 2011, Kumar was charged with initiating a verbal and physical attack on a group of fans.
Lack of performances and the subsequent rise of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami and others forced the selectors to ignore him.