IPL 2021: Mumbai Indians sign Nagaland’s baby spinner Khrievitso Kense as support player for IPL

IPL 2021: Nagaland’s baby spinner, Khrievitso Kense, has bagged an IPL contract from Mumbai Indians after impressing the franchise in the trials. The defending IPL champion has signed the 16-year-old as a support player for the IPL 2021.

Kanse will be on Mumbai Indian’s reserve list in the IPL 2021. He is the first cricketer from Nagaland to land an IPL contract and will be eager to impress at the nets and get a chance to bowl against some of the best players in the world. However, at the IPL 2021 auction, he went unsold. In four Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy matches, he managed 7 wickets with an economy rate of just 5.47.

Nagaland Cricket Association, the state’s chief minister Neiphiu Rio congratulated Kense on his IPL contract. If successful, he could open the doors for many Northeast players in the future.

“Congrats to Mr. Khrievitso Kense of #Nagaland on being selected as a support player for #MumbaiIndians in the @IPL. This is just the beginning of what should be a glorious & pathbreaking career ahead,” Nagaland Olympic Association tweeted.

Rio also came up with a tweet, congratulating Kense. “I’m happy to know that Khrievitso Kense is selected as a support player by @mipaltan for @IPL 2021 season. I wish him the best as he joins the team for pre-IPL prep. camp and be with them till the end of #IPL2021. I hope he plays a vital role in contributing to the team’s success,” he said.

Who is Khrievitso Kense?

Kense grew up watching highlights of Shane Warne’s magical spells and that was all the coaching he could manage in his formative years. Fifth among seven siblings, the carpenter’s son from Sovima village near Dimapur, he became a cricketer all by himself and TV became his coach.

“I was initially bowling off-spin. But my fingers started paining. Then I tried leg-spin. I didn’t have anyone to coach me. So I followed Shane Warne on TV and phone,” he told PTI from Chennai, where he is currently in quarantine ahead of the Vijay Hazare trophy starting February 18.

“I really liked the way he turned the ball. I never had a leg-spin coach, I learnt all by myself. There was a sir who would just guide me as I played U-16 cricket,” he said.

With the help of a local coach, Kense got to play at the U-16 level and made everyone sit up and notice his skills with a five-wicket haul on debut against Uttar Pradesh in a Vijay Merchant Trophy’s 2018-19 pre-quarterfinal.

Nagaland senior team captain Rongsen Jonathan and his deputy Hokaito Zhimomi then called him for senior camp last year where he grabbed the attention of state coach Kanwaljit Singh, a former Hyderabad off-spinner who’s with the team for more than three years.

“He really impressed me with his trajectory which is ideally suited for any format of the game,” the Nagaland coach said recollecting the first time when he saw Kense in the trials.