Sadiq Kirmani is a phenomenally talented cricketer from India. Son of the legendary Indian cricketer Syed Kirmani (key member of 1983 world cup winning Indian squad), Sadiq has carved out his own niche as an aggressive batsman, winning several ‘Best Batsman’ awards in India as well as overseas. He has not always received his share of opportunities that he truly deserves but he is made of tougher elements, not the one to lose hope and motivation. This year he finally made it to the coveted Indian Premier League shortlist. He is one cricketer to look out for in the near future, who has the potential to shine as the most valuable player at an international level.
EARLY LIFE, INTEREST IN CRICKET AND INSPIRATION
I used to play Various different sports, like ten pin bowling , rugby , soccer , tennis & hockey. Cricket happened by chance. My School Cricket team did not have a wicket keeper, so I put my hand up without knowing about my father. I was in 4th grade at that point of time. My teacher was my Inspiration Miss Caren.
CRICKETING CAREER JOURNEY – HIGHLIGHTS AND SETBACKS
My professional cricketing career started in 2008. I was an aggressive opening batter and a wicket keeper; Still, I am one (smiles). I have played all the age groups for Karnataka state with 2 List A games (Ranji Trophy One Day Internationals)
Had the best KPL season ( Karnataka premier league ) in 2015 scoring 341 Runs and was awarded the orange cap and award for the highest number of sixes. I was supposed to get a contract from RCB (Royal Challengers Bangalore) for the IPL (Indian Premier League) but unfortunately was not even called for the selection trials.
I have been consistent in my local league games, scoring more than 5000 runs for the club I have played for, since the year 2005-2016 but never got any support from the club or the association to go to the next level of first class cricket.
Loads of setbacks , disappointments, but here I am happy , content and still working hard with a smile on my face. I was the most hated kid in the association, still looking for answers.
I am a level 1 Cricket Coach , have played top level leagues in the USA & NZ Top, and was scoring there as well. My career is still not finished, still want to play in a lot countries and get exposure. My thought process is, you don’t have to play international cricket just to play in Australia, England or the West Indies , you can still play through your own efforts.
ROLE OF FORMAL TRAINING IN NEW ZEALAND
Playing overseas has changed my mindset. Different challenging wickets to bat on, facing tall, fast and lanky bowlers, heavy outfields that have no value for your shots. All this I did not get playing in India. I still have a lot to learn and experience.
I have won more than 4000 trophies till date. I have them all (smiles). The best being the orange cap at the KPL in 2015 beating all the batsmen who have played international cricket.
One of my top awards is also very recent – my 1st season in New Zealand and I became the best batsmen at the end of the season. And to top that in my second season as well I got the best batsmen award, in 2020.
PERKS AND PRESSURES OF BEING THE SON OF A LEGENDARY CRICKETER
Firstly, I am so fortunate and the luckiest in the world Being the son of a Legendary Cricketer. It has Advantages and disadvantages. I faced comparison more than pressure. People wanted me to keep wickets like my father which was humanly not possible, they failed to understand that. I always loved pressure; it would bring the best out of me. The adrenaline rush is what I crave for and I get that in pressure situations. I get a lot of respect outside cricket just because I am a celebrity’s son which is so overwhelming.
MAKING IT TO THE IPL SHORTLIST
It’s a big deal to be featured in the IPL Auction draft amongst 1 billion people playing cricket in India. I did not make it this year, but I will try again next year. I practice and gym thrice a week, and the next 3 days I play soccer, go cycling, play badminton. I am an outdoor person love being outside playing some sport.
POPULARIZING CRICKET AS A SPORT BE POPULARIZED AMONG YOUTH GLOBALLY
To be honest football is one of my favourite games too. People like it because the entire 90 minutes of the game is so exciting and fast. Cricket is slowly picking up in smaller countries, especially the shortest format of the game (T-20 format). Young boys and girls are definitely taking up to this great game. In my opinion ICC should conduct tournaments in countries which don’t play much cricket, that’s how they will develop interest in the youth.
CRICKET AS A CAREER OPTION – MESSAGE TO YOUNG BOYS AND GIRLS
Cricket has fame, money , recognition, travel at the highest level. But one has to be outstanding in the sport to reach that level. This sport has a lot of other career options like a Cricket coach , trainer , video analyst, fielding coach , sidearm specialist. So, boys and girls don’t think twice ! Jump into it.
COACHING PLANS IN THE FUTURE?
Yes, I definitely plan to coach in the future. I can communicate well; I build a good rapport with my students and have the knowledge of and on the field of Cricket.
DREAM AS A CRICKETER
My dream is to play cricket all over the world , travel like a bag packer and explore this beautiful world. I wish to achieve happiness , success and fame and become a good human.
Author: The feature was authored by Dr. Debashish Sengupta, Asia Editor at Future of Earth.