Former Hong Kong captain Anshuman Rath is set to represent the Odisha team in India’s upcoming 2021-22 domestic season. Rath, who has an Indian passport completed the mandatory year-long cooling-off period and is now eligible to feature in the Indian domestic circuit.
The 23-year-old was initially trying to get a spot in the Vidarbha team but was left out from the 2020-21 season, ultimately landing a spot in Odisha.
“I had served a year’s cooling-off period, played club cricket in Nagpur and hoped to be picked for Vidarbha. But when things didn’t happen, I had to look for a new opportunity, and that is when Odisha happened,” Rath told ESPNcricinfo. “I can speak Oriya, I was born in Bhubaneswar, so in many ways, this was a logical next step for me.”
The left-hand top-order batter is currently playing in the inter-district matches in Bhubaneswar and is hoping to get the attention of the selectors ahead of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy that will happen in October.
“I have spent over a month with the squad,” he said. “The team is talented, but have been flying under the radar for some reason. The talent is abundant, and I hope we can all make a difference this season. For me personally, it’s about doing whatever I can to put myself up for selection. The best way to do that is to keep scoring runs wherever I play.”
Rath, who is eyeing a debut in the IPL, is looking forward to working with former Vidarbha player, Wasim Jaffer.
“Being an opener myself, it was good to pick his brains at the short camp we had,” he said. “Obviously he has just come in, so I haven’t had a great deal of time. But from the short camp, the takeaways were plenty.
“It’s not hard to see why he’s respected so much. He can be a tough coach [and] at the same time be someone who can put his hand around your shoulder when you need it. His record speaks for itself. If I can tap into all that experience, it’ll be beneficial to me and the team.”
Anshuman Rath has featured in 18 ODIs and 20 T20Is for Hong Kong. He led Hong Kong to the Asia Cup in the UAE in 2018, during which he put on a stand of 174 runs with Nizakat Khan against India but then decided to part ways with the team after they lost the ODI status in 2020. The team completed World Cricket League Division 2 in Namibia at the last position. He finished as the top run-scorer of the team.
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