Who is Tushar Deshpande, a ball-boy in IPL 2008 to impressive debut for Delhi Capitals?

Tushar Deshpande made his debut for Delhi Capitals in the clash against Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2020 and he impressed by getting the massive wicket of Ben Stokes. Towards the conclusion of the match, he held his nerve to bowl a good final over to seal a 13-run win for Shreyas Iyer’s team as they went on top of the table.

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Who is Tushar Deshpande, a ball-boy in IPL 2008 to impressive debut for Delhi Capitals?
Tushar Deshpande's maiden IPL wicket was Ben Stokes and it was a fulfillment of a journey that began as a ball-boy in IPL 2008 in a Mumbai Indians clash at the Wankhede stadium.

Delhi Capitals made one change to the side in the IPL 2020 clash against Rajasthan Royals at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium after opting to bat. Tushar Deshpande, the 25-year-old from Mumbai, was picked in place of Harshal Patel. Delhi Capitals notched up 161/7 thanks to gritty fifties from Shikhar Dhawan and Shreyas Iyer. During Rajasthan Royals’ innings, Tushar Deshpande was asked to open the bowling and he went for 11 runs in his first IPL over, getting hit for two boundaries by Ben Stokes.

However, glory beckoned for Tushar Deshpande in the 11th over. In the second ball of his second over, Ben Stokes mistimed a slow cutter to long on and he was dismissed for 41. The celebrations from Tushar Deshpande was a sight to see as he dismissed the man who had helped England win the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup and had helped his national team stay alive in the Ashes.

With Anrich Nortje and Kagiso Rabada bowling brilliantly in the death overs, Tushar Deshpande was tasked to bowling the final over of the innings with Rahul Tewatia on strike. Tushar Deshpande was helped by a brilliant bit of fielding from his Mumbai counterpart Ajinkya Rahane as he saved a six and he held his nerve to concede just eight runs in the final over to end with figures of 4-0-37-2.

Delhi Capitals surged to the top of the table and after the match, he was praised by Kagiso Rabada. “Deshpande is a youngster who has a lot of passion for the game. He has talent and hunger and it didn't look as if it was his first game. He has a lot of work to do and could be a real talent for India in the future,” Rabada said. Even Delhi Capitals veteran Shikhar Dhawan had massive praise for the youngster. “Courage he showed, line and length he bowled was amazing (Deshpande),” Dhawan said.

Deshpande’s rise

Tushar Deshpande made his first-class debut for Mumbai in the 2016–17 Ranji Trophy on 6 October 2016. He made his List A debut for Mumbai in the 2018–19 Vijay Hazare Trophy on 19 September 2018. He took his first five-wicket haul in List A cricket in the quarter-finals of the tournament on 14 October 2018 when his 5/23 routed Bihar for 69.

Interestingly, during a conversation with Sportstar, Tushar Deshpande had revealed that he was a ball boy during the 2008 IPL match which was held at the Wankhede stadium when he was 13 years of age. In the IPL 2020 auctions, he was purchased for Rs 20 lakhs by the Delhi Capitals and he has repaid their faith with a stellar performance on debut.

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