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IPL 2022: Not New to Adversities, Rinku Singh Finally Has His IPL Moment

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Life was tough for Rinku Singh. Be it his daily struggles due to poverty, or be it his struggles to make his way to the playing eleven. The 24-year-old from Aligarh had made news when he was bought for INR 80 lakh by KKR in 2018 auctions, but he had to wait to make a mark at the big stage. He himself was quite vocal about it after taking KKR to a seven wicket win over Rajasthan Royals at the Wankhede Stadium. “A lot of players have played Ranji from Aligarh, but I am the first to play the IPL. This is a big league and there is a lot of pressure obviously. I have been waiting for the last five years to get a chance. I worked very hard, came back from injury and did well in the domestic circuit as well.” He was let go by the franchise only to be reacquired at a cost of INR 55 lakh in 2022 mega auctions.

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But adversities are something which is not new for Rinku. There was a time when he was forced to work as domestic help as money was hard to come by.    “He (brother) took me to a place where they asked me to be a domestic worker — saaf, safaai aur pochaa maarna (sweeping and mopping). I came back home and told my morther, ‘I will not go again. Let me just try my luck in cricket,” he told The Indian Express back in 2018.

“Father used to earn some Rs 6-7 thousand monthly, as was the elder brother. My family is a bit big and I had no option other than to focus hard on cricket. Life mein struggle bahut kiya, may be God is repaying for those days,” recalled Rinku moments after he was snatched by KKR for 80 lakh. There were two teams that were vying for his services. In the end, it was KKR who won that battle.

Socha tha 20 lakh mein jaoonga, (thought I would get 20 lakhs), but I was picked up for 80! The first thought that came to the mind was that I can contribute in my big brother’s wedding, and save up something for my sister’s wedding too. Aur ek achhe se ghar mein shift ho jaoonga.”

Finally Rinku’s time came against Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2022—almost five years later he was bought. And the man from Aligarh was ready. KKR were struggling, chasing a target of 152 as they had lost their skipper Shreyas Iyer. Patience was the need of the hour, but Rinku, who had seen a lot at such a young age, never quite paid heed. He smashed the first ball for four.

Needing 46 off 30 balls, he then played the shot of the day, a paddle scoop to a 141 kmph Sen delivery on his legs high and mighty over the fine leg fence.  The youngster from Aligarh meant business as he found the fence at crucial junctures to first bring down the equation to 31 runs off 18 balls. Rinku then continued his onslaught against Prasidh, who conceded 17 runs in the penultimate over, which included two boundaries from the left-hander’s blade, as KKR wrapped up the match in style.

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