Chandigarh: Manvinder Bisla, who is in the limelight for his exploits in the IPL final, has come a long way since representing India as a bowler in the Under-19 World Cup in 2002.

Bisla started as a bowler but destiny had other plans for him as he later transformed into a wicketkeeper-batsman for Haryana, where he played his entire junior cricket, before shifting base to Himachal Pradesh.

The little-known cricketer, who has been hopping teams in the IPL, smashed a 48-ball 89 to help Kolkata Knight Riders lift its maiden IPL title by beating defending champions Chennai Super Kings on Sunday.

"He has done very well. We are happy for him. Bisla has created an opportunity for himself and we wish and hope he goes from strength to strength," Haryana Cricket Association's secretary Anirudh Chaudhry said.

Though Bisla may have moved on to play for Himachal, but Chaudhry said, "For somebody who has his roots in Haryana, we feel proud about his achievement."

Chaudhry also credited KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir for having shown great faith in Bisla. "Hats off to Gambhir for having backed a young player like Bisla and for showing confidence in him," he said.

Chaudhry said that till the time Bisla was in Haryana, he had followed his career very closely.

"He played his entire junior cricket for Haryana and made his first class debut from the state. Then Anurag (Thakur), who was then junior national selector, invited him to play for Himachal and he accepted the offer," he said.

Bisla, who made just three runs in his last first class match in December 2010 while playing for Himachal versus Baroda, was dropped last season.

In the IPL, he joined KKR last year but did not get much opportunity. Before signing up with the Kolkata outfit, he also played for the Deccan Chargers and Kings XI Punjab.

Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association's secretary, Vishal Marwah praised Bisla's effort, saying "it was a display of his actual talent."

"He has played below par till now. What we saw yesterday is a glimpse of his real talent," he said.

Asked about the reasons why Bisla had not played to his potential so far in the first class circuit, Marwah feels injury problems could be a factor.

"He is a natural, free flowing batsman, who can be devastating on his day and yesterday was his day," Marwah said.

Meanwhile, back home in Gurgaon where Bisla's father SS Bisla (64) and mother Daya Bisla (58) live, phone has not stopped ringing throughout the day.

"We are very happy with our son's achievement. We also want to thank Gautam Gambhir for showing faith in his ability and also the team owner Shah Rukh Khan," Bisla's father, who retired from Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar, said.

He said that his son always wanted to be a cricketer and the family had backed his decision and supported him all through.

"He is a talented cricketer and has shown its glimpse at various platforms while playing in the Cooch Behar Trophy, the Ranji Trophy and as a U-19 player. Though, he has been in and out in the IPL, but whenever he got the big opportunity, he delivered and made his team and everybody proud," his father added.

(Agencies)

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