28 runs were needed off 5 deliveries and Rinku Singh was on strike. He struck Yash Dayal over covers for a six with utmost ease. Nick Knight on commentary chirped that Rinku’s innings will ‘surely not be in a match winning cause’. Chris Morris promptly replied that ‘strangers things have happened in the past, Knick! Not over just yet.’
It definitely was far from over as Rinku Singh scripted an epic knock of a lifetime scoring 48 off just 21 deliveries. He hit 5 consecutive sixes against Yash Dayal to bring back Kolkata from the dead. The last two sixes on slow short balls were something beyond ordinary. While most of the batters would panic in the situation and attempt a pull shot on the short deliveries, Rinku waited for the slower one to thump it down over long on and sight screen. The power he generated on those deliveries was massive and all the hits easily cleared the rope.
The Kolkata camp came running towards Rinku and hug him tightly. Chandrakant Pandit had tears in his eyes. Meanwhile Rinku was sedate emotionless and was soaking in every bit of the moment he could. As if it was meant to be…
Compared to all the struggles in his life, the match situation was nothing for him. After all the struggles in his life, it was his moment to shine and own the stage and let people take notice of him. Rinku Singh in the post match presentation said that he had the ‘belief’ that he could win the match for Kolkata.
Struggles in the Life of Rinku Singh
Rinku Singh hails from a small town named Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh. He comes from a very poor family with his father delivering LPG cylinders to homes. His elder brother drives an auto rickshaw while another one works in a coaching institute. Rinku has 4 other siblings in the family and has not cleared the ninth grade.
In 2015-16 Rinku’s family had a debt of 5 lakhs rupees. Rinku had to do a job as a domestic worker sweeping and cleaning the floor apart from playing cricket. But the gritty batter soon left the job to focus on cricket. Cricket was the only passion that kept young Rinku going ahead.
“My father struggled a lot, I come from a farmer’s family. Every ball that I hit out of the ground was dedicated to the people who sacrificed so much for me,” Rinku said after his match-winning knock.
His innings was full of clarity and control. The batter rightly said that every ball that he hit was dedicated to people who sacrificed for him. We could see the hunger and belief in Rinku’s eyes to get the job done. He went in with a blank mind without thinking too much taking one ball at a time.
Rinku was bought by the Kolkata Knight Riders franchise in 2018 at a price of just 80 Lakhs. He worked hard with Abhishek Nayar and the results are quite evident.
“Socha tha 20 lakh mein jaoonga, (thought I would get Rs 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,” Rinku told the The Indian Express.
Since the last IPL Rinku has scored 272 runs at a strike rate of 155.42 managing an average of 38.85. In the Ranji Trophy, Rinku Singh represents Uttar Pradesh. His first-class average after 59 inns is 59.89. He excels at T20s as well, which speaks to his all-around talent. The UP batter is excellent against spin, manouvers the ball well in the gaps, and is disdainful against pace. The most pleasing thing is that he knows how to construct an innings and play the situation. Even in the last innings, he complimented Shardul well who was hitting the ball well.
Rinku Singh’s innings and career up until now is a huge source of inspiration for struggling teenagers. With belief, hard work and passion, and sheer commitment, nothing is impossible.
Amidst all the struggles and hardships he has endured, it is finally Rinku’s time to shine brightly.