Swashbuckling West Indies batter Shimron Hetmyer on Saturday played down the pressure a hefty price tag brings to a player in the Indian Premier League (IPL), adding that playing any role coming towards him is important.
After starring for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Delhi Capitals (DC), Hetmyer will now be a part of Rajasthan Royals (RR) in IPL 2022 after being bought by the franchise for INR 8.5 crores in the mega auction in February.
In his overall IPL career since entering the fold in 2019, Hetmyer has played 31 matches, scoring 517 runs at an average of 25.85 and strike rate of 151.16.
“There’s no pressure of the price tag on me, it’s a challenge to help the Royals when I’m out there. The price tag does not really matter to me, it’s the runs I score that help contribute to the team’s cause that matter. I’m ready for any role the team needs me to perform.
It’s imperative to do well as a player in the squad. And at my end, as I’ve always believed, is to just give myself that chance to be out there and the performance will come, no matter what the situation of the game is,” said Hetmyer in a release by Royals after arriving in Mumbai this week.
Hetmyer is eager to pick the nuances of the game from head coach and director of cricket, Sri Lanka legend Kumar Sangakkara to become a better all-format cricketer.
“It’s very exciting to play under someone like Kumar Sangakkara. A legend of the game, I’ve heard some amazing things about him and can’t wait to get his brains on certain aspects of my game, that can help become better not just in the white-ball format but also in the longer version of the game with the red ball.”
This isn’t the first time Hetmyer is getting to know the Royals. In 2018, Hetmyer, the 2016 U19 Men’s World Cup winning-captain, had attended a camp organised by Royals in Mumbai and got a glimpse into workings of an IPL team.
“It felt like a great atmosphere back then, met some really thoughtful cricketing people and was again glad to see some of them still with the squad this season as well. It was fantastic being around an IPL set-up such as the Royals, and how they would approach and work towards things. I felt it was an insightful experience and something that I’ve carried with myself ever since”, recalled Hetmyer.
Hetmyer, 25, revealed how being in IPL has benefitted him in his growth as a cricketer.
“My first season in the IPL at RCB was a challenging one, for a young player, and being the only West Indian in the squad was a tough one to start off in franchise cricket. IPL, in general, has been a wonderful learning experience that has taught me to look at myself and my game differently and has enabled me to learn and develop the right processes.”
Hetmyer expressed confidence in Royals having the right personnel to win the IPL trophy again after 2008.
“Yes, I am very excited about the team that we have this year. I believe there is big potential in the squad to bring the cup home this year. I’m really excited to get going for the Royals. I’ve heard some really nice things about the franchise from my good friend Evin Lewis, and I can’t wait to get going and just enjoy myself as part of the squad.”