Varun Aaron promises to deliver big as IPL prepares for Emirates voyage

Varun Aaron promises to deliver big as IPL prepares for Emirates voyage

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Varun made an IPL comeback last year



In a world clouded with a never-seen-before pandemic, cricket seemed like a distant afterthought. IPL? You must have been crazy if you were thinking about it. Such was the unpredictability of life that we were locked for mercy - a pause no one saw coming.

However, after the successful ECB formula laid out the bio-bubble plans and hosted a whole series with minimal fuss, we are looking at a full season of IPL. And this can possibly be a long summer of cricket for the Indian team, who will later tour Australia for a four-match Test series to resume their ICC World Test Championship campaign. 

But can your average cricket fan look too far ahead? For, the IPL is the ultimate banana coup, a festival of sorts that unites and divides Indian fans like no other. It is a celebration of Indian cricket and its vast heritage and also a stress-buster like no other after a long day at work. The BCCI has got into full swing in their preparation mode to make this a massive success and the franchises have started prepping for what is going to be a challenging edition for everyone involved. 

One person who is having a little fuss, however, is Rajasthan Royals Varun Aaron, whose dramatic comeback in the last edition not only helped Rajasthan salvage some pride late in the season but also ensured they were not written off for the upcoming season. At the bottom of it lies Aaron’s unflagging ability to hit the pace on a timely basis and bend the back at an alarming frequency. Aaron spoke about his thought process and what makes him fully prepared for a gruesome season during an exclusive conversation with SportsCafe, as the Indian Premier League looks set to host the full edition in the United Arab Emirates. 

“Lockdown has been as good as it can get,” Aaron told SportsCafe. “You can’t do much but I still managed to get a few net sessions and luckily I have a gym at home, so I have been enjoying spending this time alone more than anything. But obviously, I am missing cricket because it has never been that I have been fit and I have not played for almost four months. So it has been odd but still there are a lot of positives to be taken out from. I am managing to get a few net sessions here and there and I have been bowling in isolation so yeah, it [turning up in IPL after a long break] shouldn't be a problem.”

When the IPL was last played in the UAE, in 2014, Aaron, statistically, had his best season of the IPL when he averaged below 20 while picking 16 wickets from 10 games. It was the only season he played at least 10 matches in a season and also the only season when he managed to get past 10 wickets as well. Given he is now fully fit and has the good memories of the 2014 IPL to fall back on, there is a great deal of incentive.

“Playing in India would have been the first choice because there is nothing like playing in front of your home fans and giving them sport and having the whole vibe around the IPL which is really nice. But I feel that none of us can be choosers at the moment because the fact that we are getting to play IPL is good enough. And also when I played in 2014 in UAE it was quite enjoyable honestly because they had hosted it really well. 

“But this time around it might be different as this time there won’t be crowds and it might have to be in this bio-secure bubble, but more than anything me and the cricketers are looking forward to playing cricket and that too the cricket of the standard of IPL. Yeah playing last time in the UAE was personally good to me. I really enjoyed the wickets and the conditions there,” the pacer added.


Breaking down the similarities between Indian and Emirates conditions, the Jharkhand pacer, who had a stellar comeback to the IPL in the Royals’ colours last year, stated that there is hardly any difference between the two countries.

“For example, if Jaipur is our home ground, it will be like going to Bombay or Kolkata for playing a game because it’s just different names of places but more or less the conditions are not that different that to India. Of course, if we were playing the IPL in England or New Zealand then it would have been a different scenario altogether because it’s not within the realms of how the conditions are in India. But in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah, the wickets are more or less Indian as wickets.”

One of the key issues that franchises face currently is the absence of net bowlers in the UAE and the strict protocol means they wouldn’t be having any more players apart from set accredited. Does that put more pressure on regular bowlers that they will have to bowl more than usual? ‘No’, Varun feels.

“I don’t think so because I think once we are part of teams we just need to bowl how much we need to bowl and we don’t bowl as much as the batsmen need us to bowl, we bowl as much as we need to bowl. I am sure every team will figure out how to get their batsmen in touch and get guys who can give them throwdowns and stuff like that. I don’t see that as a challenge as at the end of the day we will have to bowl as much as we need to bowl as professionals and it will not be dictated by how much the batsmen need to bat,” asserted Aaron, who last played his international match in 2015.

One of the most determined and chilled-out cricketers one could ever come across, Varun Aaron has never sacrificed any substance to stay relevant in Indian cricket. His growth happened organically - from playing for Jharkhand to India to RR - and his love for the game has seen no bounds. The same is on the show now once again, after a six-month-long break, as the pacer is ready to commit for a two-month fun and frolic with the pink army.

“We are all pretty excited. We are gonna see that the way we used to play back in school after the summer break because we just miss it so bad. All of us are pretty starved of cricket, obviously except the players from the England and the West Indies teams because they are getting some Test matches. But other than them, I think all of us are really hungry and raring to go,” Varun concluded.

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