Hard-hitting West Indies batter Shimron Hetmyer is looking forward to pick the brains of Rajasthan Royals head coach Kumar Sangakkara to get better not only in the shortest format of the game but also improve his red-ball cricket.
The 25-year-old left-handed batter was bought by Rajasthan Royals for Rs 8.5 crore during the IPL mega auction after not being retained by Delhi Capitals.
“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," Hetmyer said in a release issued by the franchise.
The Guyanese batter had an impact in a finishing role for his previous franchise and he hoped to replicate the same for the Royals in the upcoming edition of the IPL.
“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," the West Indian southpaw said.
Hetmyer, however, played down the price tag, saying it is important he plays any role that comes to him.
“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," he said.
“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."
Playing for his third franchise in the tournament, Hetmyer was candid in talking about his IPL journey thus far.
“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," said the West Indian.
“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."
The 2016 U-19 World Cup-winning captain also shared his initial experiences in the IPL.
“I think it was 2018, I had a chance to go to a camp with the Royals in Mumbai and that was one of my first interactions with 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," he said.
“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."