Shahbaz Ahmed
Shahbaz Ahmed. Image Credits: Twitter

Faf Du Plessis will be again leading the Royal Challengers Banglore (RCB) side in IPL 2023, after Virat Kohli left the captaincy of RCB after the 2021 season, under Du Plessis’s leadership the Bengaluru-based side reached the playoff in the last season.

The Indian all-rounder who impressed everyone with his performance in the last edition was Shahbaz Ahamad, he was first signed by RCB for the 2020 season, and he now recalls auctions day of the 2020 season.

RCB's squad in 2022
RCB’s squad in 2022. Image Credits: Twitter

Shahbaz reveals he was not ready to be part of RCB in IPL 2020-

I never thought RCB would pick me, it was surprising. To be honest, I had a shoulder injury that time. Every cricketer wants to play in IPL, and I was having a good domestic season then,”

The people from the association had said that I had a chance in the auction, but I never thought RCB would buy me. In fact, I was thinking it would be better if I go unsold because I didn’t want any problems to resurface in the IPL. If I’m not fit, the season would go waste,” said the left-arm spinner on the RCB podcast.

While for the 2023 season, Shahbaz was retained by the Bengaluru-based club in the IPL. 28-year-old bowling all-rounder has represented the RCB in 29 matches so far and made his India debut last year in an ODI against South Africa, in 3 ODI so far he has picked three wickets.

My teammate Ishan Porel was picked by Punjab first. Next was my turn. In first attempt, I had gone unsold and I was so happy. I switched off the TV and I felt relieved. But as the auction was coming to end, my friends told me I was picked by RCB. Everyone was still seeing the auction in the dressing room, and everyone was happy,” he further added.

The bowling all-rounder made his List-A debut for Bengal in Vijay Hazare Trophy in the 2018 season, while in January 2021, against Hyderabad, he became the seventh player from Bengal and the first since Indian pacer Mohammed Shami to claim a Ranji Trophy hat-trick.

On the inside, though, I thought, ‘oh no, how did this happen’. My biggest fear was I was picked by RCB and Virat bhai was also the Team India captain at the time. I thought, ‘what will happen with me now’. I was having trouble with fielding and Virat bhai is very particular about fielding,”

But Covid was the game-changer for me. In lockdown, I got time to have a shoulder surgery. When I joined the team for the first training camp, I was fit,” concluded the left-arm spinner.

Meanwhile, IPL 2023 will get underway on March 31 with a clash between Gujarat Titans and Chennai Super Kings. On the other hand, RCB will open their campaign in IPL 2023 on April 2 when they lock horns against Mumbai Indians. RCB has been the side that clearly has one of the biggest fan bases in the Indian Premier League (IPL), but in the past 15th edition they have failed to win any title after reaching the final on three occasions, they will surely be looking to end this drought in this season.

Also read: IPL 2023: RCB Sign Up Michael Bracewell As Injured Will Jacks’ Replacement