It has been a long and arduous journey for Barinder Sran, from playing in open spaces in his village, to playing in front of packed crowds in the VIVO Indian Premier League. The left-arm speedster shares some stories from his yesteryears, and how a trial with Kings XI Punjab changed his life. After representing two other IPL franchises in Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad, Sran is finally a part of the KXIP squad now, ready to give it his all. Here are the excerpts.

How was it playing cricket in your village, and when did you start playing?

I have been playing cricket from my childhood. We had a house in the middle of fields - an open area like a farmhouse and we used to play there all the time. All the boys used to get together and play. We started from the house and then as we grew up, we used to go to the government school ground. I think I was in 9th or 10th standard when I started playing more often. We used to play with tennis balls, and even played tennis ball tournaments.

How has your journey been, from playing in your village to playing in the IPL?

I was playing cricket since childhood, so I thought that’s what I should pursue. I gave trials for KXIP in Mohali before starting my professional cricket, and I was one of the 40 boys selected. But at that time, I had no idea what a leather season ball was, what kind of spikes to wear, and so on. I just came in and bowled. After the trials, I understood this is how professional cricket is played. The physio at that time, who is now the physio of the Indian cricket team, told me to start playing it properly. That’s how my journey began. KXIP has definitely had a big impact on my career, and I am happy to finally represent them.

Which KXIP bowler would you like to bowl in tandem with?

Mohit (Sharma) bhai, for sure! He is a senior and gives me good advice. It will be fun to bowl along with him as he can suggest what to bowl to which batsman.

How was the training camp ahead of the start of the season?

As this is a new team, the camp was necessary for team bonding. It was important to get along with other players. Practice was really nice, and the practice matches were good help as well. Some of us used to go out for dinner as well. Our coach, Brad Hodge helped me a lot by telling me how batsman think and how you can bowl to them. In the nets he used to review my bowling and tell me which delivery was nice and how to improve. Overall, it was really very nice.

What advice do you have for the non-Punjabi players in the team to gel-in, in a team like KXIP?

I think everyone has gelled up nicely. We do a bit of bhangra whenever we get a chance. Everyone is fond of Punjabi music anyway. I’ve taught them some bhangra moves as well so it’s quite nice, and Chris Gayle is always dancing. Soon, I’ll have a bhangra competition with him.