Banton, who scored 549 runs from 13 matches at a strike fee of 161.47 in 2019 Vitality Blast, was purchased by the Kolkata franchise for Rs 1 crore for the IPL which begins within the UAE on September 19.

“I’m particularly excited to play alongside Andre Russell and Pat Cummins. I watched Andre last year, and he played really well. Learning from someone like him will be really cool,” Banton, who made his England debut in New Zealand and performed in three T20Is, was quoted as saying in

Russell was the Most Valuable Player of IPL 2019, scoring 510 runs from 13 innings, averaging 56.66. He additionally picked up 11 wickets. The 21-year-old Banton mentioned he is additionally excited to be with the likes of Shivam Mavi, Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Shubman Gill, whom he has performed towards in his U-19 days.

“There are a few guys of my age – (Shivam) Mavi, (Kamlesh) Nagarkoti and Shubman (Gill) – whom I have played against when I was younger. It would be great to see them again.”

Banton performed in the identical U-19 World Cup through which Shubman was adjudged Man of the Tournament.

“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, and I am still good friends with some of them. Playing alongside Shubman at KKR will be pretty nice and I am really looking forward to it,” he mentioned.

“Honestly, just being part of the IPL is something I have been dreaming of since a very young age. I have been watching IPL every year. I have literally been glued to the IPL from the very first games in the years when it started.”

The hockey player-turned cricketer likes to play progressive pictures like reverse-slaps and scoops. He confirmed one such shot towards Sam Curran within the Vitality Blast when he switched his grip and reverse-scooped for a six.

“I guess it probably comes from playing hockey. I was a drag flicker and used to play reverse there quite often. My dad used to play hockey and I kind of followed his footsteps,” Banton, who performed hockey from the age of three, mentioned.

“I was 16-year-old, when things were getting more serious and I had to pick one sport and that’s when I chose cricket.”

The tall teen has drawn common comparisons with former England captain Kevin Pietersen.

“He (Pietersen) is one of the greatest players to have played from England. I have watched him while growing up and he was definitely an idol of mine. But honestly, I don’t like to think so much, otherwise you get too far ahead of yourself,” he mentioned.

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