From sweeping floors to sweeping bowlers – The story of Rinku Singh
Once a domestic helper, Rinku Singh will now play for a top-notch IPL franchise.
Published - Mar 14, 2018 8:33 pm | Updated - Mar 14, 2018 10:16 pm
His father delivers LPG cylinders to houses. One of his brothers drives an auto-rickshaw. His nine-member family lives in a small two-room tin-roofed house. He managed to get into a good school in sports quota but failed in the ninth standard. His family was in debt, and the future looked bleak. He had to take the job of a domestic helper. From there, he is now signed by one of the most successful Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) for Rs. 80 lakhs.
He is Rinku Singh, the 20-year-old cricketer from Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh. He had a great Ranji season, in which he amassed 692 runs in 9 matches, with an average of just under 50. When he was picked by KKR for an amount, big enough to stabilize his family’s financial condition, a wave of joy spread in the neighbourhood of Aligarh. In an exclusive chat with CricTracker, the swashbuckling left-hander shared his inspiring rags to riches journey.
Beginning from ground zero
When asked about his very humble upbringing, he said: “I belong to a poor family. During my early days, we didn’t have enough money to buy my kit. My coach helped me very much and by God’s grace, I got into Delhi Public School in sports quota. I learnt many things but failed class 9.”
There was a time when his father had to take a debt, and the Singh family was drowning in poverty. But Kings XI Punjab bought him for 10 lakhs last season and a new door of happiness opened for them. Even during the toughest phase of his life, he didn’t stop training.
“I used to practice 14 hours a day. Tough times made me stronger every time,” said Rinku. Speaking about the auction, he added, “I was a little nervous. I was training when the auction was going on. I never expected to bag such a big amount.”
Singh is known as Junior Raina amongst his Uttar Pradesh team-mates. In fact, it was Raina who inspired Rinku and kindled the flame in him. “One day I saw Raina bhaiya practising in our club. I talked to him and he advised me to try my best. He is my idol. I’m very happy that people call me Jr. Raina,” said a proud Rinku.
On joining KKR
He is very excited to be joining KKR. Speaking about the franchise, he stated, “I feel blessed playing for this franchise. KKR has got the perfect balance of youth and experience. They have got full support from the local fans. Every child there supports KKR. Playing in the Eden Gardens is the best feeling.”
The Gautam Gambhir era is done, and the KKR loyalists are now looking up to Dinesh Karthik, their new leader. When asked about DK the skipper, Singh said: “In my opinion, DK was the best option. He has been playing for Tamil Nadu for many years. He has been in the Indian side. I interacted with him last year during Ranji. He is a simple and fun-loving person, who doesn’t show aggression with his words. He shows aggression with his skills.”
A lot of experts are criticizing the KKR team management for building a below average squad and splurging huge money on untested U19 cricketers. To shut them all, Rinku said, “The U19 guys are fine players. We all have been trained in the NCA to match up the conditions and read the minds of our opposition by their actions. Many experts are criticizing our team. I want to say, however, our team may be, we will give our best.”
The Shraddha Kapoor fan believes Chris Lynn is KKR’s key to success, and talking about the Australian mentioned that “Lynn is a tremendous T20 player. He is our key player. Narine-Lynn opening partnership is well suited on flat tracks, and they performed brilliantly last year. It’d be a pleasure sharing the dressing room with him.”
On his favourite skipper, and how Kohli owes his success to Dhoni
When asked about his favourite international skipper, Rinku’s instant answer was “Virat Kohli is the best. He has performed brilliantly everywhere across the world.” But he also believes that Kohli owes his success to MS Dhoni, as he said “Mahi bhai helped him becoming a good sportsman. He always supports Kohli fully. He always played for his country, and praises every player.”
Besides Kohli, he is also a very big fan of David Warner and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who he feels is the best bowler in the world. After all these years of hardships, he plans to buy a house for his family with the money he will get from the IPL contract so that they can finally leave their dingy two-room house and live in a place that has some fresh air to breathe.
Singh is an inspiration to many underprivileged cricketers, who face financial difficulties to continue playing the sport. Addressing them, the India A aspirant said, “Never lose hope. Life is all about ups and downs. One day will come when the world will make you their idol. Always be focused, and spend time with your friends and family during the bad days.”