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IPL 2024: Jaques Kallis as idol, young Arshin Kulkarni hopes to make it big

The all-rounder, who hails from Solapur in Maharashtra, excelled by scoring a century in the Under-19 World Cup this January

Every cricketer aspires to play for their country and win at the top level, and for this they put their best foot forward whenever they get a chance to prove their mettle. Young Arshin Kulkarni is no different, but he wants to conquer the cricket world in a different way, earn a name like former South African captain Jaques Kallis.

Arshin Kulkarni poses for HT in Lucknow on Friday. (HT Photo )

“He (Kallis) is my role model and I want to be like him. From the very first day of my cricket, I have aspired to become a player like him. This IPL is an opportunity for me to let everybody know what I want to be,” Kulkarni said on Friday, minutes before boarding the flight to Jaipur where Lucknow Super Giants will open their campaign against Rajasthan Royals on Sunday.

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Kulkarni, 19, is happy to have seasoned cricketers like KL Rahul and coaches like Justin Langer, Jonty Rhodes, and even Lance Klusener, around him in Lucknow Super Giants and he is trying to learn from everyone.

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“Learning is a continuous process, and I am trying to learn from everyone in the side and this experience will help me in the future also. Even in my first meeting with KL bhaiya in Bengaluru, I learned the art of mental toughness, match temperament, etc from him,” said Kulkarni, adding, “Now, I have my game plan to execute, and I want to use it my way to help the team win the IPL.”

An all-rounder, who hails from Solapur in Maharashtra, Kulkarni excelled with both bat and ball, scoring a century in the Under-19 World Cup this January, and in his only first-class game this season for Maharashtra, he scored a half-century and took two wickets.

“The experience of playing in the U-19 World Cup, Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy and Ranji Trophy will surely help me in this IPL,” said Kulkarni, who was bought by LSG for his base price of ₹20 lakh.

Like any newcomer, he too is excited to play in the IPL and looking forward to an opportunity. “It’s exciting to be part of an IPL team and I am waiting for an opportunity,” he said. The Maharashtra Cricket League was a big stage from where his performance fetched him a place in the LSG side and even helped him play in the Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy.

Narrating his first interaction with Kallis during the Under-19 World Cup in South Africa, he said, “It was like a dream come true as I always wanted to meet him in person. I touched his feet and took his blessings. I used to say to my family that I always wanted to go to South Africa to meet my idol. Now, it’s the best memory.”

Kulkarni, who loves playing big shots said he never knew that one day his style of hitting big sixes would help him play in the IPL. “It’s how I bat and I always try to send the ball over the boundary. It excites me a lot,” he said.

The LSG batting line-up is packed with stars like Rahul, Quinton de Kock, Nicolas Pooran and Marcus Stoinis and it would be interesting to see when this young all-rounder gets a chance to showcase his ability.


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