IPL

Rinku Singh Was A Sweeper Before He Became An IPL Star

Rinku Singh got his first game of IPL 2022, versus Gujarat Titans, which was the eighth for Kolkata Knight Riders this season. Before having his say with the bat, the 24-year-old got into the headlines with his brilliant fielding performances by taking four crucial catches, including that of Titans skipper Hardik Pandya.

With the bat, then Rinku’s task was cut out. Chasing 157, KKR slipped to 36/4. With the help of Venkatesh Iyer, Rinku stemmed the wicket-flow and scored a fluent 35-run knock off 28 balls, hitting four boundaries and a six. However, his efforts went in vain as KKR lost by 8 runs.

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This was Rinku Singh’s only 11th IPL match despite having made his IPL debut in 2018. The left-hander has been with KKR since 2018; in the past four seasons, he had been on a contract worth 80 lakh. Impressed by the youngster, KKR re-bought him in the IPL 2022 mega-auction for 55 lakh.

While Rinku now has a handsome amount in his bank balance, his childhood and teenage life had been anything but comfortable and rosy. In fact, Rinku and his family had lived in debt earlier.

Rinku was born in 1997 in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh to Khanchand Singh who delivered LPG cylinders from an LPG gas agency in Lucknow, where he lived with his parents and four siblings in two rooms in the gas agency’s storage compound.

Growing up as a teenager in a family where ends were difficult to meet, his brother got him a sweeper and cleaner job. When Rinku started playing cricket, he faced immense challenges but his zeal and love for the game kept him going. He won a motorbike for being the best player at a local tournament in Delhi, which he gave to his father for distributing the heavy gas cylinders.

 

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His first IPL contract was with Kings XI Punjab in 2017 worth 10 lakh, but he didn’t get to play any game that season. His and his family’s life changed when KKR bought him for 80 lakh the next season.

“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 (and I will move into a good house),” Rinku had told Indian Express after the IPL 2018 auction.

He has now played 30 first-class matches in which the southpaw has a stunning record: 2307 runs at an average of 64 and strike rate of 70; he’s hit five centuries and 16 fifties.

In 41 List-A matches, Rinku averages 50 at a strike rate of 93; he’s scored over 1000 runs in T20 cricket at a strike rate of 136. Rinku also bowls handy part-time off-spin.

Also Read: Virat Kohli Will Not Be Able To Make A Comeback: Mohammad Asif

Jatin Khandelwal

Hi, I am Jatin Khandelwal. Cricket writing came accidentally for me with an undergrad engineering degree. With opportunities first as a freelancer and then full-time, and experience with time, I have grown in the role. The Cricket Lounge is a place where I can thrive with the best of my abilities.

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