Rags to Riches - Rinku Singh from KKR

A fairy tale story of KKR batter -- Rinku Singh

Posted June 10, 2022 in Cricket.

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Kannan Nair
Rags to Riches - Rinku Singh from KKR

Fortune favors the brave.

Who would have thought that a sweeper sweeping the floor for a living would be sweeping the best bowlers in the world for sixes? Such is the stroke of destiny. The son of a cylinder delivery boy, firing all cylinders in the most competitive league in the world. Rinku Khanchandra Singh is another product from the manufacturing plant of the Indian Premier League.

Rinku Singh was just another ordinary person from Uttar Pradesh who worked as a sweeper to support his large nine-member family. Living in a small house, even before he could wear any cricket jersey, Rinku was wearing the jersey of responsibilities for his family. In his early 20s, Rinku was playing state-level and junior-level cricket, and with the meagre allowances and match fees he got, he would help his family pay off loans taken from various people. Not many would have the heart to give a newly won motorcycle to their father. But such was the character of Rinku, who gave his new bike, which he had won by playing in a cricket tournament in Delhi, to his hard-working father, thinking that would make his father's cylinder delivery job a little easier.

His father delivered cylinders, whereas his son delivered match-winning knocks for Uttar Pradesh. As such, Rinku was always in contention due to his incredible hitting ability. He had represented UP at the Under-16, Under-19, and Under-23 levels and the Central Zone at the Under-19 level. He made his List A cricket debut for Uttar Pradesh in March 2014 at the age of 16 and top-scored with 83 in that match. He made his first-class debut for Uttar Pradesh in the 2016–17 Ranji Trophy, which earned him an IPL call, as he was bought for his base price of 10 lakh by the Punjab Kings, only to be benched for the entire season. Rinku then turned towards Ranji, and he was the leading run-scorer for Uttar Pradesh in the group stage of the 2018–19 Ranji Trophy, with 803 runs in nine matches. He finished the tournament with 953 runs in ten matches. Rinku Singh was called in for trials by the Mumbai Indians after an impressive Ranji Trophy season in 2018-19, where he absolutely smacked the leather of the cricket ball with a quick-fire 95 runs off just 31 balls. Hoping to get a minimum of 20-Lakhs, Rinku was glued to the television watching the 2018-Auction. As anticipated, Mumbai went into a bidding war with KKR to secure the services of Rinku, and the pocket dynamo was sold to KKR for 80 lakhs, four times its base price. Rinku’s hard work was finally paying off. The first thought that Rinku had after going for 80 lakh was that he could contribute to his brother’s and sister’s wedding. Such was the heart of the selfless Rinku Singh.



Nana korobi ya oki 

As the above Japanese proverb goes, "Fall down seven times, get up eight." Rinku had a nightmare of IPL for the first three years, as between the 2018 and 2020 seasons, Rinku could only manage to score 77 runs in 10 odd games for KKR. Rinku’s IPL breakthrough dream was further shattered when he was injured and missed the entire 2021 IPL season. KKR maintained their faith in Rinku by purchasing him for 50 lakhs in the 2022 mega auction. A rejuvenated Rinku was more determined than ever before to perform and stand true to the hype around him. Rinku didn’t disappoint this time around, scoring 134 runs in the six matches so far at a strike rate of 131.37, showing the world why he has been rated so highly domestically. In fact, Rinku was so determined to win matches for KKR that he had written "50-not out" on his palm before the match against Rajasthan Royals. Though he could not hit a 50, Rinku scored a 23-ball 42 "not-out" and helped KKR chase down 153 runs against RR. As they say, "You have to be stronger than your situation," and Rinku was definitely a strong young man who showed character, was gritty, and adamant about playing cricket. A kind-hearted young man, wanting to take his family out of the financial crisis, never gave up, even after multiple failures initially in IPL, and as they say, the rest is history!

I hope the young man goes on to create history for Team India as well one day in the near future.


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