KADAPA: Lion Alert! From the land of #Bahubali we rope in Harishankar Reddy! -- Chennai Super Kings, one of the IPL giants, tweeted on Thursday night soon after the IPL auction.
Bahubali here is Maramreddy Harishankar Reddy hailing from an agricultural family in a remote village of Nagurivandlapalli in Chinna Mandem mandal of Kadapa district. This 22-year-old right arm medium pacer was bought for a base price of Rs 20 lakh. He is the second cricketer to get selected from Kadapa district for IPL, with P Vijayakumar, who played for Deccan Chargers, being the first.
“Till I was 14-years-old, I loved to play cricket with tennis ball in our village. My first tryst with professional cricket was when I accompanied my friend to the district-level cricket selections and tried my luck. I got selected for a summer camp held in Kadapa in 2013,” he told TNIE over phone from Indore, where he is turning out for Andhra at Vijay Hazare Trophy.
Since then, his complete focus has been cricket. Seeing his bowling talent, his friends and coaches encouraged him to improve further. His efforts paid off when he got selected for the Under-19 cricket tournament. He found place in Andhra Ranji team in 2018. His first T20 match for Andhra team was against Kerala on January 11, 2018 and he scalped four wickets conceding 12 runs in two overs.
Till date, Harishankar played 13 T20 matches and has bagged 19 wickets at an economy rate of 8.34. His best figures are 4-12. His recent performances at the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20s in Mumbai put him under the radar of IPL teams. Mentioning their son’s love for cricket, Harishankar’s parents -- M Ramachandra Reddy and Lakshmi Devi -- said, he used to even skip the college to practise cricket.
“We are happy that he got selected for IPL. We are confident that he will prove himself to step on to the larger stage -international cricket.” His elder brother is currently working in Kuwait. Donning Blue jersey and playing for the country is a big dream of Harishankar. “I will strive to prove myself with hard work and realise my dream of playing for Indian team on the international arena,” asserted Harishankar, revealing that his idol is Jasprit Bumrah.
His friends and villagers of Nagurivandlapalli are over the moon when they learnt that Harishankar would now be sharing the dressing room with MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Ravindra Jadeja, Faf du Plessis and others.
A cricketer with a rural background
Maramreddy Harishankar Reddy hails from an agricultural family in a remote village Nagurivandla-palli in Chinna Mandem mandal of Kadapa district. He is the second cricketer to get selected from Kadapa for IPL