After making the impactful come back in the 12th edition (IPL 2019) of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Sarfaraz Khan opens up about his ouster from the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) camp back in the IPL 2016. Sarfaraz had a brilliant game in his debut season in IPL 2015 when he was roped in by the Bengaluru-based franchise. However, because of his fitness issues, the Virat Kohli-led side released him.
Recently, the remarkable triple century in the first-class cricket once again saw the Mumbai batsman on the top of his game.
In the Ranji Trophy match against Uttar Pradesh, Sarfaraz scored an unbeaten triple century studded with 38 boundaries.
The 22-year-old youngster has, however, had a very uncertain cricket career till now. With controversies following him close on his heels, Sarfaraz had been in and out of the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) several times. He even went to play for Uttar Pradesh but, eventually, returns to his home team.
Former RCB player Sarfaraz Khan sheds light on some interesting facts about IPL 2016:
However, after the swashbuckling triple century in the Ranji game, the middle-order batsman has once again proved his worth. Recently, he had revealed some interesting facts from the 2016 IPL season when he was released by the Kohli-led RCB.
Sarfaraz stated that skipper Kohli had been straightforward while giving his reasons on his (Sarfaraz’s) release from the team.
“I was dropped at Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in 2016 because of my fitness,” he said.
“Virat Kohli told me straightaway while there were no doubts over my skills, my fitness was not letting me get to the next level. He was very honest with me about where I was,” he added.
While most would have taken it as otherwise, Sarfaraz took it as a challenge. He worked hard in the gym and got a strict hold on his diet. The right-hander started the struggle to get fit so he could register a healthy comeback.
I knew that is when I had to get fitter. So I started working out, running, doing a lot of cardio. I gave up sweets and tried to improve my eating habits. I won’t say I became obsessed with fitness, but I just made small changes to my diet. If I had two portions of something, I changed it to one portion, and gradually cut down on my intake of junk food,” the right-hander said.
From ‘Panda’ to ‘Macho’ – Sarfaraz Khan happy about his game:
Before the Uttar Pradesh game, Sarfaraz stroke an unbeaten 71 in the game against Karnataka on Jan 3. Recently, the young batsman has been proving good with numbers in the game. And he feels good to not only have a fitting physique but also about bagging good scores.
Further, young Sarfaraz proudly revealed that the ones who called him ‘Panda’ back then, now have nicknamed him as ‘Macho’.
“I felt good not just about my improved fitness but because it helped me score runs and get a lead. At one point, all my team-mates used to call me ‘panda’ because I used to eat a lot. Now, they’ve started calling me ‘macho’. Actually, very few people know it’s my nickname now,” Sarfaraz goes on to add.
The budding young Indian cricketer, later, added that he felt hurt when RCB had released him in IPL 2016. But having played an interesting game with the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in the IPL 2019, Sarfaraz is quite confident about his game now.
“Being released from RCB hurt me in a way, but I couldn’t do much about it. I had one of the best IPLs so far with Kings XI Punjab last year. I was in the midst of my cooling-off period, so I knew that was my only chance to impress,” he concluded.
The exciting batsman has been retained by KXIP after having one of his best seasons with the team. He amassed a total of 180 runs from the eight games in IPL 2018.