Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) have drafted in UAE captain Ahmed Raza and teenager Karthik Meiyappan to train with them during the IPL, beginning on Saturday. The National newspaper reported that Raza has completed his mandatory quarantine at the team hotel here and has started training with the Virat Kohli-led squad.
Raza, a left-arm spinner, comes into the RCB camp after being recommended by their bowling coach Sridharan Sriram, who had also sought the UAE skipper's assistance as a spin consultant with the Australian team when they toured the Emirates. "I was introduced to the players and support staff, and it was really nice for Sri (Sriram) to put in that word for me. He introduced me as the UAE captain. And can you imagine AB walking up to you and saying: Thank you for helping us out.' Seriously, it was surreal," said Raza.
Raza has been part of the national team for 14 years. Asked about his thoughts on staying in IPL's bio-bubble, the 31-year-old said: "It does feel slightly strange being in this bio-secure bubble, but credit to the IPL and RCB." "This hotel is great, they have a fantastic team room, and when we have a private area of beach access as well. And then it was great to be involved in my first training session at the ICC Academy as well, as it felt like going back home."
The 19-year-old is a leg-spinner, Meiyappan has played four ODIs for UAE so far.