The 26-year-old left-handed batter produced one of the most dramatic wins in the rich history of the Indian Premier League on Sunday (April 9) by smashing five sixes in the last over of the match against Gujarat Titans to steer KKR to an improbable win.
With 29 required from the final over, Rinku got to the strike on the first ball and what transpired next, is a memory that will be etched in the memories of the cricket fans for many years to come.
Gujarat Titans’ pacer Yash Dayal looked clueless with the ball as Rinku unleashed the beast mode and hit shots everywhere. After getting hit for a hat-trick of maximums, the young bowler was under so much pressure that he ended up conceding two more sixes.
Rinku – who has played for Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings) – has been making the right noises for his current IPL side, KKR. The cricketer from Aligarh was first bought by KXIP at his base price in IPL 2017 but didn’t get an opportunity to make his debut in the premier domestic T20 competition.
He has been doing exceedingly well for Uttar Pradesh in the domestic circuit and is one of the key members of the state side. Hailing from a humble background, Rinku Singh’s fortune started changing after KKR bought the youngster for Rs 80 lakhs during IPL 2018 mega auction.
He was released by the franchise ahead of IPL 2022 mega auction but was snapped by the team for Rs 55 lakh. Rinku – who is one of the best fielders in the IPL – idolises former India cricketer and Chennai Super Kings legend Suresh Raina.
Raina – who is a three-time IPL champion with CSK – has watched the growth of Rinku from close quarters. Rinku interestingly made his debut for Uttar Pradesh under Raina’s captaincy.
Rinku Singh Family
His father distributed LPG cylinders from door to door while his elder brother drove an autorickshaw. He grew up living in a two-room quarter with nine members of his family.
“Father used to earn some Rs 6-7 thousand monthly, as he was the elder brother. My family is a bit big and I had no option other than to focus hard on cricket,” Rinku said told Indian Express.
Rinku himself worked as a sweeper at one point in time. He couldn’t clear his class 9 examinations and dropped out of his school but focussed on his cricket. He was determined to make his mark in the sport.
Rinku Singh Started Rising In IPL 2022
Before IPL 2022, he was used as a filler and could never retain a permanent spot on the KKR side. However, he was always on the field for KKR as he has a brilliant pair of hands. He has taken several good catches in the past in the outfield.
IPL 2022 turned out to be a landmark year for Rinku as he proved his mettle as a complete cricketer. The confidence shown by team management reflected in his performance on the field as well as he looked more confident with the bat.
After KKR suffered three back-to-back defeats in the previous season, Rinku got a chance to play against Gujarat Titans, which was KKR’s eighth match of the season.
A couple of games later, Rinku played an unbeaten knock of 42 off 23 balls against Rajasthan Royals and also grabbed two catches as KKR returned to winning ways after losing five games on the bounce.
He even garnered a lot of praise from outgoing KKR head coach Brendon McCullum by the end of the IPL 2022 season and the legendary New Zealand cricketer spoke highly of Singh.
In his final post-match press conference as KKR coach, McCullum – who joined the England Test side as the head coach – claimed the franchise will invest heavily in Rinku and the player will return the favour.
“Absolutely he (Rinku) sure has (been the find of the season). Rinku is a player who KKR will invest in, no doubt, over the next few years and we will see him really progress and may even challenge for higher honours in time,” McCullum stated last year.
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