IPL 2024: Swapnil thanks RCB for picking him

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | May 20, 2024 IST

Swapnil Singh

Bengaluru, May 20: A professional cricketer in India has to face a lot of ups and downs to achieve his goals. If that goal or aim is playing in the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL), then in today's cutthroat competitive era, he has to have a bit of luck as well.

If one does not agree with the luck factor, or destiny testing a player's patience, then the interesting case of Royal Challengers Bengaluru spin-bowling all-rounder Swapnil Singh's journey can be an interesting case study.

The 33-year-old Baroda cricketer has gone through lots of emotions and struggles as well, to keep afloat his professional cricketing career.

Swapnil has become an overnight star, playing a vital role in RCB’s stunning run to the IPL playoffs. He made his RCB debut in Hyderabad last month and has since gone on to be part of each of their six smashing wins on the trot.

 Having almost given up on his cricket career until he was picked up by RCB in the auction, Swapnil’s story is one of fulfilment and redemption when talent meets opportunity in an enabling environment.

Speaking on RCB Bold Diaries after the franchise marched into the playoffs at Chinnaswamy Stadium, Swapnil revealed how he had contemplated retirement before RCB chose him at the auction in what was an emotional moment for him and his family.

“The day of the IPL auction I was travelling to Dharamsala for a game. It was around 7-8 pm after I landed. Nothing had happened by then and the last rounds were on. When I missed out at first, I thought that’s it. Frankly, I thought it was all over,” Swapnil said.

"I thought I would play out the ongoing (domestic) season, and if needed, I would end my career after playing the next season because I did not want to keep playing all my life. There are other things to do well in life as well. I was very disappointed," said the veteran cricketer, who had made his senior domestic debut back in 2006 as a teenager and also shared rooms with Virat Kohli at age-group level.

And then, the turnaround came, as RCB raised the paddle for Swapnil at the auction. Swapnil could not control his tears. “As soon as my family called, we broke down. Because no one else understands how emotional the journey has been.”

Swapnil credited RCB head coach Andy Flower for keeping the faith in him in the lead-up to the auction. Swapnil had impressed Flower as a net bowler earlier, and the coach asked him to come for an RCB training camp.

“Before RCB picked me in the auction, they had organized a trial camp. I spoke to Andy sir and told him all about how my (domestic) season had gone. I told him, ‘Just give me one chance. This might be my last chance. Just have faith in me.’ He told me he had faith in me. He called me for the camp,” Swapnil said.

When he entered the RCB dressing room, Swapnil knew he would get the opportunity to play eventually, and was mentally prepared to wait for his chance. “I never entered the ground thinking that I am not playing. My first practice session was the first match for me, it was not just a practice session. I knew that I would have to be on target from ball one if I had to play even one game. So, nets was my match,” Swapnil said.

And when the opportunity came, Swapnil grabbed it with both hands, eager to contribute with both bat and ball. “I would tell my brother that I have neither scored a four nor a six in the IPL, and I have taken only one wicket. So I really want to hit a four and a six.”

As it turned out, Swapnil made an impact right away on RCB debut. He hit a six and a four in an unbeaten 12 off 6, and also picked up a couple of wickets. “I knew that if I got a chance to play, our captain Faf (du Plessis) would definitely give me an over to bowl. And in my first over, I did not bowl six balls, I bowled seven. I did not know I would bowl a no-ball. And I got a wicket off the seventh ball, so it is god’s blessings,” Swapnil signed off.

IPL has been an excellent platform for aspiring cricketers. From S Sreesanth, R Ashwin. Riyan Parag, Rinku Singh to many others, the cash-rich popular cricket league has helped in spotting, grooming and getting ready players for bigger stages. Some of them have also represented Team India.

If Swapnil continues to work hard and gets an opportunity, maybe he will attain greater career heights in future. (With IANS support)

    Tags
  • Indian Premier League (IPL)
  • Faf du Plessis
  • IPL 2024
  • Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB)
  • Andy Flower
  • Swapnil Singh

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