Tom Banton may have left hockey to be a professional cricketer a few years ago, but the 21-year-old England player will be eager to showcase his hockey-inspired strokes in the forthcoming Indian Premier League (IPL).
Banton, who will don the Kolkata Knight Riders colours in the IPL 2020, credited his hockey background for his reverse-scoop which he famously used against Sam Curran in the Vitality Blast.
“I guess it probably comes from playing hockey. I was a drag-flicker and used to play reverse quite often. My dad used to play hockey and I kind of followed in his footsteps. I played hockey from the age of three. I was 16 years old, when things were getting more serious and I had to pick one sport and that’s when I chose cricket.
“Talking about the six, it was actually quite funny because Sam (Curran) came up to me and said something,” Banton told www.kkr.in.
Banton looked forward to playing alongside former under-19 World Cup rival Shubman Gill. “I remember the Indians were a lot better than all of us in the (2018 under-19) World Cup. I look up to those guys even now … Playing alongside Shubman for KKR will be pretty nice.”
The opener and wicketkeeper-batsman, who never got carried away because of comparisons with his idol Kevin Pietersen, was happy at the prospect of working with KKR coach Brendon McCullum.
“I went out on dinner with him during the Big Bash League (BBL), and also with Chris Lynn just the day after the (IPL) auction. McCullum is someone I look up to. Having him as a coach is going to be really cool.”
After playing in various T20 leagues across the world, Banton was eager to ply his trade for KKR. “I am excited to play alongside Andre Russell and Pat Cummins… Learning from someone like him (Andre) will be really cool. There are a few guys of my age – (Shivam) Mavi, (Kamlesh) Nagarkoti and Shubman (Gill) – whom I have played against. It would be great to see them again,” said Banton.