Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Wicketkeeper-batsman Saju Samsn has gone from strengths to strengths in the Indian Premier League (IPL) over the years. Sanju made his debut for Rajasthan Royals (RR) under the captaincy of Rahul Dravid. However, the man who introduced Sanju to Dravid was Sanju’s Kerala senior S Sreesanth.

Sreesanth has revealed in a recent interview how he lied to Dravid about Sanju to get him a game. 

“When I took Sanju to Dravid, I lied to the then RR captain that the youngster had hit me for six sixes in a local tournament. Rahul bhai listened to me when I introduced Sanju to him. Rahul bhai said, ‘Shree, kuch bhi bol, ye kyu bol raha hai?” said Sreesanth.

The former India pacer also revealed that he paid for the travel expenses of Sanju to Rajasthan from Kerala because in those days no such rule was in place for trials.

“When Rahul bhai saw Sanju bat he was convinced, came to me and said, ‘Shree, don’t let this Sanju guy go to any other selection, we are signing him. Whether or not he’d get matches, I don’t know but we would like to sign him,” said Sreesanth.

Dravid was not sure whether Sanju could play the next season of IPL but the fact is that the wicketkeeper-batsman ended up playing 11 games in his debut season and scored 216 runs with just one fifty to his name. But he went from strength to strength in the next seasons of the cash-rich league.