Mumbai Indians batsman Nitish Rana on Saturday recalled his journey with the IPL franchise, his selection in 2016 and the moment when Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar had inquired Mumbai Indians manager about him.
Rana said that following a decent Ranji Trophy season he was expecting an IPL call, yet the news of his selection came as a surprise to him when a friend had informed him that he was picked by Mumbai Indians.
"When I called for drinks, I was told that I've been picked by Mumbai Indians. I couldn't - in fact, didn't - believe it. Perhaps my friend was taking a joke too far. And then, when he insisted, I knew he wasn't kidding," Nitish Rana told Cricbuzz.
Rana, who featured in 96 T20s, recalling Sachin's conversation with Mumbai Indians manager said, "My friend overheard a conversation between Sachin Tendulkar and the Mumbai Indians manager Rahul Sanghvi, and told me that I had caught Sachin sir's notice. He asked 'Who's this boy?'. He had clearly taken notice of me. That felt really good."
Recalling the early days if the tournament, Rana said that he used to visit the Arun Jaitley Stadium and dream about his IPL selection. He also expressed that he wantdted to be part of Delhi Daredevils.
"I never thought that I can be a part of IPl. For 4 or 5 seasons I used to got to Feroz Shah Kotla stadium to watch matches because I liked Akshay Kumar and he was with Delhi Daredevils back then. I used to like AB de Villiers and even Gautam Gambhir was in Delhi then. Virender Sehwag was also there. I used to think if one hasn't seen them play, then they have seen nothing."
Rana, who is presently with the Kolkata Knight Ridersm revealed that as kid he was a huge fan of former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly and that he would cry and get angry each time the veteran got dismissed.
"We used to have fight in our family. My brother was a Rahul Dravid fan, I was a Sourav Ganguly fan and my father adored Sachin Tendulkar. My father would tell me something every time Ganguly used to get out. I would run to my room and lock it and then cry and get angry," Rana said.