After contrasting earlier reports surrounding Sarfaraz Khan’s availability for the rest of IPL 2017 following his injury during a practice session, the 19-year-old has been ruled out of the rest of the tournament. Royal Challengers Bangalore announced Harpreet Singh as his replacement.
The 25-year-old batting all-rounder from Madhya Pradesh will finally get his opportunity to play in IPL 2017 after a bizarre case of mistaken identity during the auction meant that he went unsold. Mistaken for Harmeet Singh, who was arrested for driving a car into the Andheri railway station, the in-form Harpreet was snubbed.
But that whole fiasco is now in the past at the 25-year-old batsman has been picked by an injury-ravaged RCB side in a bid to bolster their chances of making it to the playoffs of the tenth edition of the Indian Premier League.
So why have RCB gone for the 25-year-old from Madhya Pradesh and where will he fit in at the franchise? Will he play a game in this year’s tournament? With his preferred No.3 slot already being occupied, how will be handle playing in another slot? All these questions only time will answer.
For now, though, let us look at why Harpreet Singh was signed and dig a little deeper into some things that you may not know about the 25-year-old from Madhya Pradesh. Here’s everything that you need to know about RCB’s latest addition to IPL 2017:
- He was born in Durg, Madhya Pradesh on August 11, 1991.
- Apart from Madhya Pradesh, who he has represented in first-class, List-A and T20s, Harpreet has also played for Central Zone and the Indian U-19 side and for two different IPL sides.
- In the 2008/09 season, Harpreet Singh scored 709 runs in seven matches in the Cooch Behar Trophy and he won the U-19 cricketer of the season award courtesy of that.
- He made his List-A debut before his first-class debut. He made his List-A debut for Madhya Pradesh in 2008 against Rajasthan at Kanpur. His first-class debut came against Haryana in 2009.
- He was the vice-captain of the Indian U-19 side that toured Australia in 2009 and was also in the Indian squad for the 2010 U-19 World Cup held in New Zealand. He played alongside future Indian internationals, Mandeep Singh, Sandeep Sharma, KL Rahul and Jaydev Unadkat.
- He finished this year’s Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy as the leading run-getter. The tournament was won by East Zone but Central Zone’s Harpreet Singh finished as the top-scorer with 211 runs from four matches at an average of over 50 and strike rate of nearly 150. Courtesy of his exploits in the tournament, which finished just two days before IPL Auction 2017 many thought that he would be picked but mistaken identity cost Harpreet on the day of the auction.
- With a base price of INR 20 lakh, Harpreet Singh was one of 366 players in the IPL Auction 2017. But unfortunately, he wasn't among the 66 who got picked despite good form.
- On the day of the IPL Auction earlier this year, there were some erroneous reports in multiple news agencies and websites that Harpreet Singh was detained by the police for driving his car onto the platform of the Andheri railways station in Mumbai. The player in question was not Harpreet Singh but left-arm spinner Harmeet Singh who won the 2012 U-19 World Cup. Photos of Harpreet were posted by some sites and it was a while before it was taken down, making some wonder whether that was the reason behind his non-selection at this year’s auction.
Extra Cover: Mistaken identity costs player potential IPL berth
- Harpreet has already played in the Indian Premier League for two different teams. Although he has played just four games, one was for Kolkata Knight Riders while the other three were for Pune Warriors.