Raj Angad Bawa was quarantining in his hotel room in Bhubaneswar on Sunday afternoon ahead of the Ranji Trophy campaign for Chandigarh. But the 19-year-old bowling all-rounder was glued to the television, watching the IPL 2022 mega auction.

While he had kept himself prepared for every situation, Raj Angad had a field day in the auction as he was picked up by Punjab Kings for ₹2 crore after an intense bidding war (his base price was ₹20 lakh). Raj Angad’s all-round skills in the World Cup forced Sunrisers Hyderabad, Mumbai Indians and Punjab Kings to go all-out, with the Punjab outfit ultimately managing to rope in the Chandigarh boy.

“This is a big moment for me. I was watching the auction on television and being from there, it feels good to be part of the Punjab outfit. So, it is a great moment,” Raj Angad told Sportstar.

His phone hasn’t stopped ringing ever since he made the cut. “Everyone is happy. It is going to be a great opportunity to share the dressing room with so many stars. I am looking forward to learning from them,” the youngster said.

Sporting pedigree

Raj Angad hails from a family of sporting riches. His grandfather Tarlochan Singh Bawa was a key member of the 1948 Olympic Indian hockey team which won the gold medal, while his father Sukhwinder Singh Bawa trained Yuvraj Singh in his formative years.

A hard-hitting left-hand batter and a crafty right-arm medium pacer, Raj Angad had an incredible outing in the U-19 World Cup, claiming nine wickets and amassing 252 runs in six outings. In the final against England, the 19-year-old bagged a five-for to guide India to yet another title.

Less than a week after the final, Raj Angad is gearing up for the Ranji Trophy.

While Raj Angad watched the IPL auction from the hotel, his father Sukhwinder was at the Sector-16 Stadium in Chandigarh. “The connectivity was a bit slow, so I missed a bit of the action. But it’s a great moment for him. With so many superstars around, this will be an international exposure for Raj and he is a quick learner, so that should benefit him. It is a huge opportunity and he should make the most of it,” Sukhwinder, one of the seasoned domestic coaches, said.

In his formative years, Bawa was a middle-order batter who bowled off-spin. With Sukhwinder focusing on his batting, Raj had to wait for his opportunity to bowl. In the Punjab U-16 team nets, Raj, who was primarily picked as a batter, started bowling fast at the nets, and he hasn’t looked back since.

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