August 30, 2021: Former Hong Kong skipper Anshuman Rath is to play for Odisha in India’s upcoming 2021-22 domestic season.
The 23-year-old Rath has played 18 ODIs and 20 T20s for Hong Kong. Rath decided to step away from his Hong Kong career after they lost ODI status.
Anshuman Rath is to play for Odisha in Indian domestic cricket
Rath is all set to play domestic cricket in India from his home-state Odisha in the upcoming 2021-22 season.
Rath went through a year of the mandatory cooling-off period. After the cooling-off period, he has become eligible to play as an Indian under the BCCI ambit.
Before Odisha, Rath wanted to play for Vidarbha but he was left out of their set-up altogether for the truncated 2020-21 season.
“I had served a year’s cooling-off period, played club cricket in Nagpur and hoped to be picked for Vidarbha. But when things didn’t happen, I had to look for a new opportunity, and that is when Odisha happened. I can speak Oriya, I was born in Bhubaneswar, so in many ways, this was a logical next step for me,” Rath told ESPNcricinfo.
Anshuman Rath is to play for Odisha and desires to play IPL as a domestic player
Rath also expressed his desire to play in IPL as a local player after making an impact in the Ranji Trophy tournament. At the moment he is in Bhubaneswar playing inter-district matches, hoping to impress the state selectors ahead of the season-opening Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in October.
Rath recently spent over a month with the Odisha squad. “The team is talented, but have been flying under the radar for some reason. The talent is abundant, and I hope we can all make a difference this season. For me personally, it’s about doing whatever I can to put myself up for selection. The best way to do that is to keep scoring runs wherever I play,” he added.
After what has been a “nomadic career” for Rath, the move to Odisha is another step for the young batsman. As a teenager, he set sights on a cricket career in England, where he attended boarding school. But immigration rules that don’t allow players from an Associate nation to qualify as a professional meant he had to stay back in Hong Kong, where he had moved with his parents as a 14-year-old.
Rath aspires to gain experience from Wasim Jaffer after a short camp experience
Recently Odisha named former Indian cricketer and one of the greatest batsmen in Indian domestic cricket, former Mumbai and Vidarbha batter Wasim Jaffer as their head coach. Rath is looking forward to working with him.
“Being an opener myself, it was good to pick his brains at the short camp we had. Obviously, he has just come in, so I haven’t had a great deal of time. But from the short camp, the takeaways were plenty. Obviously, he has just come in, so I haven’t had a great deal of time. But from the short camp, the takeaways were plenty,” he said.
Praising the newly appointed coach he said: “It’s not hard to see why he’s respected so much. He can be a tough coach, at the same time be someone who can put his hand around your shoulder when you need it. His record speaks for itself. If I can tap into all that experience, it’ll be beneficial to me and the team.”