Vaibhav Arora: An unfortunate accident, almost quit cricket in 2018, to sharing the ball with Kagiso Rabada

Punjab Kings' medium-pacer Vaibhav Arora is a result of patience and perseverance throughout the odds.

Vaibhav Arora in action for PBKS (Courtesy:
By Samrat Chakraborty | Apr 9, 2022 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

If you look at Vaibhav Arora’s bowling record for Himachal Pradesh in first-class cricket, you would know, his best is still to come in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022. He is one of those rare medium pacers who can pick up wickets at regular intervals while maintaining his economy rate. 

Arora has featured in nine FC matches for his state team and picked up 30 wickets, with the best bowling figures of 6/48, at an average of 20.76 and encouraging economy of 3.04. 

But the star-studded IPL is going to be a different test for the 24-year-old, who was bought by the Punjab Kings franchise, for a whopping INR 2 crore in the IPL mega auction. However, his journey, and resilience throughout the odds should help him show his strong character in the lucrative tournament. 

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Vaibhav Arora: Dejected after an unfortunate accident

Arora is no stranger to testing times. He, incidentally, shared the ball with his Punjab Kings teammate Arshdeep Singh since their college days and met with an accident outside the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium. 

“There was a fast bowling camp at PCA in 2017, and they had an unfortunate accident right at the gate of the IS Bindra Cricket Stadium. Both had suffered injuries in the elbows and knees,” Ravi Verma, Vaibhav Arora’s coach, told the Indian Express. 

Vaibhav Arora: Faced rejections in his formative years 

Arora had decided to let go his career in cricket and opt for a private job after being selected for the Punjab Under-19 camp thrice but never getting a chance to play and subsequently getting irritated after seven catches were dropped off his bowling in a Himachal Pradesh district match in 2018. 

But his coach stood by his side and didn’t let him take the step. 

“Sir koi bhi private naukari dekh lo, cricket ab nahi ho sakta (Sir please look for a private job, i am done with cricket)

“I told him to get a ‘Quitter’ tattoo on his forehead and never call me again,” recollects Verma.

Vaibhav Arora: Rejuvenated his career 

The support from his coach helped him give his career another shot. He impressed with a five-wicket haul in a district match and was later selected for the Himachal Pradesh U-23 team. 

Arora would be, later, fast-tracked into the Himachal Pradesh side where he showed his bowling prowess with the best figures (9/105) on his debut against Saurashtra.

His performance grabbed the attention of IPL scouts and he went for trials with Knight Riders, Mumbai Indians, and Rajasthan Royals. His friend Arshdeep, later, played a pivotal role to sign him up for Punjab Kings as a net bowler in IPL 2020. 

“Those 80 days with the Punjab Kings gave me an enormous amount of confidence. It took my bowling to the next level. I was bowling to KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Glenn Maxwell, Mayank Agarwal in the nets. It took the fear factor away from me,” Arora had told this paper after the Punjab Kings picked him for Rs 2 crores at the IPL mega auction.

His inswinging yorkers had, then, impressed captain KL Rahul and head coach Anil Kumble which turned out to be crucial in the franchise fetching him in the mega auction after he was picked up by KKR in IPL 2021.

“After our first net session in Dubai, Rahul bhai asked me where do I play from and said you would play in IPL soon. Anil sir also came to me once and asked a similar question; he said I have got the potential and told me to keep working hard.”

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