Sanju Samson, Rajasthan Royals’ wicketkeeper batsman, shared the memorable story of how he was picked to play for the franchise back in 2013, when he was only 18, and the role of Rahul Dravid, who was playing for the Royals at that time, in spotting him and bringing him into the franchise.
In a podcast with the Royals’ spin bowling consultant Ish Sodhi, the then youngest player to score a half century in the coveted T20 league recalled how the legendary former Indian Cricketer and the then Royals’ team director Zubin Bharucha singled him out on the second day of the trials conducted by the franchise and offered him the opportunity to play in the IPL.
“Rahul Bhai and Zubin Bharucha were supervising the trials for Rajasthan Royals. I played a really good knock there, at the end of the second day, Rahul Bhai came to me and asked, “Would you play for my team?”. It was like a dream for me, to have Rahul Bhai come and ask me to play for him,” shared Samson.
Speaking about his initial days at the Royals’ camp, Samson said that he did not make it to the playing XI in the first 6 matches. However, Samson would still engage with senior players like Dravid, Shane Watson and Brad Hodge to gather more knowledge about the game.
“At the IPL also I didn’t play the first six games. I would always talk to him (Dravid) and other senior players like Watson, Hodge and learn from them,” the 25 year old wicketkeeper batsman said.
Samson, the first Indian wicketkeeper batsman to score a double century in One Day Cricket, disclosed that he and the former Indian captain are constantly in touch. He also stated that Dravid is the most modest person he has come across and that the latter is always available for any cricketer.
“Even today if I call him and ask for help, he’s always there to help me. Rahul sir is the most modest person I have ever met who is available for every cricketer at any time,” Samson concluded.