The interior boundary wall of the Platinum Oval in Alur takes an uphill right turn once you proceed towards the second ground in the premises. The KSCA invitational tournament match between Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat had just ended there, while India A was playing out a draw against South Africa A.
A young boy stationed himself on top of the wall for a 360-degree view of Shreyas Iyer’s batting. The day being a Monday, there weren’t many spectators. But Rinku Singh stood tall to support his countrymen.
The UP batsman — who was picked by the Kolkata Knight Riders for Rs 80 lakh in this Indian Premier League (IPL) — did not cause any ripple in his four-game stint. The catch at deep to dismiss Manish Pandey is perhaps the only highlight.
But the tournament helped him fulfill his primary dream — that of moving his family to a newly-built duplex house from a two-room space within a gas distribution company’s storage compound.
“I had to build a house. People were happy when I was selected in the IPL. Now, everything is good. I have a house of my own now. My dream was to provide a better life to my family. I bought a new bike as well,” he told Sportstar after jumping down from the enclosure.
He misses the IPL post-match gatherings. “It was a lot of fun; imagine dancing with Andre Russell after every win. I got batting tips from Jacques Kallis and Simon Katich. The trainer also trained me well, it showed in the fielding. It is the best team as they paid attention to players individually,” he said.
Singh is also thankful to KKR mentor Abhishek Nayar, who corrected his stance at the franchise’s newly opened academy. “My shoulder used to drop, Abhishek sir helped me with a better stance.”
Friendship with stars
Chinaman bowler and India regular Kuldeep Yadav is one of his closest friends in the state team. “We have lived like brothers. Whenever we would watch horror films, I would end up sleeping in his room out of fright. When Raina [Suresh] bhai comes to UP, the atmosphere is upbeat in the dressing room. People enjoy his company,” said Singh, who is now setting short term goals. “I will now start preparing for the one-dayers in the upcoming domestic season.”
He climbed back.
It remains to be seen if he scales greater heights on the cricketing front.