The IPL 2018 auction witnessed yet another rag to riches story as youngster Rinku Singh was picked for Rs 80 lakh by Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). The 20-year-old was picked up by the Kings XI Punjab last year for his base price of 10 lakhs but could only watch from the bench as he didn’t an opportunity to make it to the playing XI.
However, Rinku fortunes took a turn for the better as he was picked up by KKR for 4 times his base price of 20 lakhs. The bidding process saw Shah Rukh Khan owned team competing strongly with Mumbai Indians, who themselves looked hell-bent on getting the all-rounder. As the news of the auction came in, Rinku and his family couldn’t stop smiling as they knew that years of hardship by the family was finally bearing fruit.
KKR bought Rinku Singh for 4 times his base price
Following the auction, Rinku said, “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.”
Rinku’s father Khanchandra delivers LPG cylinders to households in Aligarh, while one of his brothers is an autorickshaw driver and the other works in a coaching centre. Hence it’s not difficult to guess that Rinku’s childhood has been far from easy. His family was under a debt of 5 lakhs just a few years back and it was only after he started earning a little from cricketing exploits that he managed to contribute in paying the debt back.
Having been selected in IPL 2018 by the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), however, has set Rinku Singh’s life trajectory on a different tandem altogether. As reported by the Indian Express, Rinku Singh said,
“Father used to earn some Rs 6-7 thousand monthly, as was the elder brother. My family is a bit big and I had no option other than to focus hard on cricket. Life mein struggle bahut kiya, may be God is repaying for those days.”
Rinku started playing cricket in the year 2009 and after a lot of hard work, he managed to break into the UP under-16 and later under-19 team. He was also in contention to play for the Indian under-19 team, however, he could not make the cut but it did not damage his confidence and he just picked himself again and carried on working hard.
Rinku Singh, from sweeping floors to sweep shots in Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR)
However, things didn’t always fall in place for Rinku. Once he had to take help of his brother in looking for another job apart from his cricket.
Talking about that experience, Rinku said, “He took me to a place where they asked me to be a domestic worker — saaf, safaai aur pochaa maarna (sweeping and mopping). I came back home and told my morther, ‘I will not go again. Let me just try my luck in cricket.”
The breakthrough for him came when Mumbai Indians invited him for a selection trial and he slammed a 31-ball 91 runs. He believes that it was that quick-fire knock which helped him get that recognition from some senior players and management staff.
“I think that knock made an impact. My domestic season had gone fine and I was hoping that someone might take me but never thought I will go for such a huge money. Mere khaandan mein itna paisa kisi ne bhi nahi dekha hai (No one in my family has seen so much money),” he concluded.