Bhubaneswar: IPL team Mumbai Indians have invited Odisha’s left-arm spinner Pappu Roy for the squad selection process for the next edition of the cricket extravaganza in 2020.
The selection process is scheduled to be held on October 23-24. If selected, then the 24-year-old spinner will make his IPL debut with the team that won the 2019 tournament.
Though a native of Khajuri village, about 41 km from Chhapra in Saran district of Bihar, Pappu has been staying in Odisha and playing for the state.
For this left-arm spinner playing in Deodhar Trophy was dream come true. However, it has been heart wrenching journey for this 23-year-old, who had to struggle for basic requirements of life about some years back.
Pappu lost his parents, Jamadar Roy and mother Parvati Devi, at a very young age. He cannot even remember his village since his parents took him to Kolkata, in search of work, very early in life.
His uncle and aunt took care of him but once his uncle, a daily wage labourer, died, the 15-year-old found it difficult to even arrange one meal a day.
He started bowling at Howrah Union Cricket Academy, for a free thali or juice to satisfy his hunger. He survived for cricket only.
Initially, he started off as a pacer, but took up left-arm spin bowling on the advice of Howrah Union Cricket Academy coach Sujit Saha.
Despite being the highest wicket-taker in CAB’s second division league in 2011 when he got 50 wickets in nine matches for Dalhousie, he could not make it to the Bengal team with Iresh Saxena and Pragyan Ojha around.
He then left for Jajpur in Odisha from Kolkata in 2011 in search of work and food. His friends, Mujakir Ali Khan and Isif Iqbal Khan, arranged accommodation for him. He then started playing for MCC Club of Jajpur.
In 2015, he got his first break in the Odisha U-23 team. Within three years, Roy made his senior team debut in List A cricket claiming 14 wickets from eight group league games for Odisha. Against Andhra, he dismissed India Test player Hanuma Vihari and former national U-19 captain Ricky Bhui off successive deliveries.
Pappu’s left-arm spin got him 14 wickets at an average of 18.42 and an economy rate of just 3.79 in the Vijay Hazare Trophy 2018-19.