Varun Aaron of Rajasthan Royals bowls.
Varun Aaron of Rajasthan Royals (right) in action during the recent Indian Premier League in the UAE. Image Credit: Sportzpics for BCCI

Kolkata: For Varun Aaron, a tearaway fast bowler for India not so long ago and a member of IPL team Rajasthan Royals, Virat Kohli is a favourite captain for more reasons than one.

“He’s a good captain for fast bowlers because as a fast bowler, you want to bowl fast and express yourself on the field and he is somebody who will readily let you do that because he enjoys playing it as well and plays the game aggressively, ” Aaron revealed during a zoom session with Rajasthan Royals Academy UAE children on Monday.

The IPL franchise had launched the academy, based at the Emirates Sevens ground in Dubai, during the IPL 2020 in the UAE. It was quite a rewarding experience for the trainees at the X-mas Camp in the age-groups of between seven and fine and 10 and 16 to interact with Aaron, once regarded as one of the fastest bowlers in the country till a series of stress fractures wore him down.


“I feel it’s important for all you guys to be guided in the right direction at a young age, to have the correct attitude towards the game,” said Aaron, explaining that his own burgeoning career was shaped by Australia great Dennis Lillee at the MRF Pace Foundation.

During the recent IPL, Royals utilised The Sevens Stadium to play practice matches ahead of the start of the tournament and Aaron praised the facilities of the academy.

“I’ve not seen that kind of a set up [at the Sevens Stadium] before and I think you guys are very lucky to be practicing cricket and learning the game where you are,” he said.

When it was time to take questions from the floor, five-year-old all-rounder Atharv was the first to interact with Varun and floored him with a trick question.

Atharv had the room in hysterics with his question, asking Aaron what it would feel like to have been bowled out for 36 - as India were in their first Test against Australia last weekend. Aaron answered: “I can tell you it wouldn’t have felt good.”

Nivaan - another trainee from the younger age group - wondered who Aaron’s most difficult opponent was and the answer was Steve Smith due to his unique style. “In Test cricket, it’s Steve Smith because he’s just a bit weird. He does some weird things that other batsmen don’t,” said Aaron.

Through its Xmas Camp, Rajasthan Royals Academy UAE is providing a fun-filled week of cricket for boys and girls aged 5-16 looking to Play the ‘Royals Way.’