Kanpur was always one of India’s most populous cities which was romanticized after Indian Ocean bassist Rahul Ram sang “Kanpooriya” based on the folklore of this city. This city is located in the heart of Uttar Pradesh which has contributed significantly to Indian cricket right since its inception. Making its first appearance in Ranji Trophy in 1934, UP has always been an imperative part of this prestigious domestic fray.
Barring iconic monikers like C.K. Nayudu, Lala Amarnath and Syed Mushtaq Ali who went on to present Uttar Pradesh, the state has also contributed to a bunch of very talented players who has featured in recent times in Indian colours. We will look at five players who made it big in the international roster, hailing all the way from Uttar Pradesh.
1. RP Singh:
One of India’s chief weapon who played an extremely crucial role in helping India notch up the maiden T-20 World Cup, RP Singh stems all the way from UP. However, his career was cut short due to his dalliance with inconsistency. Despite showcasing flashes of relentless brilliance, he shortly ebbed away to oblivion, playing a handful 14 Tests, 58 ODI’s and 10 T20I’s since 2005.
In his initial days in the Indian colours, Singh notched up 12 wickets in the inaugural edition of T-20 World cup which comprised his phenomenal bowling spell of 4 for 11 against South Africa and 3 for 26 in the remarkable final against Pakistan.
Since 2011, RP Singh lost his shape and steam and was shortly bordering on the fringes of exit from the national team and chances of him making it back to the big screen anymore are remote.
2. Mohammad Kaif:
Revolutionising Indian fielding alongside Yuvraj Singh, Kaif was one of Saurav Ganguly’s primary weapon in his echelons.
Hammering the English bowlers for a feisty unbeaten 87 in a high-octane Natwest final 2002, he paved the way for a humdinger victory that set the course of India’s sails of bravery overseas.
Touted as one of the best fielders of the side, his reliable batting prowess also won him considerable plaudits down the order. However, his glory days were short-lived as his slump in form hit a new low after the UP born cricketer failed to rack up decent performances and shortly found himself out of favour of the selectors.
He played 13 Tests and 125 ODI’s amonsgt which he managed to amass 3000 international runs before fading away to oblivion.
3. Praveen Kumar:
Touted as a inswinging specialist, Praveen Kumar made all the difference in the world, when his decisive spell in the 2nd CB Series final in 2008.
He was also India’s leading wicket taker in a 4-0 humiliation suffered at the hands of England in 2011 with him scalping 15 wickets in the tournament.
Despite being a decent medium pacer, his boorish temper shortly threw him on the bad side of the selectors’ book.
With only 6 Tests and 68 ODI’s to his name Praveen Kumar bade adieu to international cricket in 2012.
4. Bhuvneshwar Kumar:
Currently India’s swing specialist and best bowler in the side, Kumar is also the only Indian cricketer to have dismissed Sachin Tendulkar for a duck in a domestic fray.
Alongside his lethal bowling, Kumar is also know for his short cameos with his bat which recently helped India to notch up the Asia Cup 2018 from the jaws of defeat.
With 63 scalps from 21 tests and 132 scalps from 114 ODI’s, Kumar brags about an economy rate which is dirt cheap in the shorter version of the game.
He is also an effective option in T-20 cricket as his wicket taking capabilities has always been his most striking feature. Every single time the captain needed the breaking of a partnership, Kumar has been the messiah.
5. Suresh Raina:
The southpaw who started off as a phenomenal batsman for India, couldn’t keep up with the scorching heat of international cricket, owing to his glaring fragility of short balls.
However, before bowing out of the international cricketing scene, Raina did leave decent legacy behind. Hailing all the way from Uttar Pradesh, Rain managed to play 226 ODI’s which has also seen him leading India for a very brief period of time. With 5615 ODI runs and 768 Test runs, Raina has shown his specialty in T-20 cricket.
He also had a century in the shortest format of the game and is still an imperative moniker in the ranks of IPL.