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Arshdeep Singh: The journey of an Indian superstar who was done with cricket at 17

image-l8ojpcynArshdeep Singh [PC: Associated Press]

Young Indian left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh is currently living his father Darshan Singh’s dream to play for India. The 23-year-old made his India debut earlier this year against England after his consistent outings with Punjab Kings in the Indian Premier League. His ability to bowl at the top and back end of the innings sets him apart from everyone else. 

Although, the cricketing circle is aware about his journey from the IPL to the Indian team but very less knows about his rigorous hardwork from a very young age to the time he represented India U19. 

From the Park to India Blue

In an exclusive interview with One Cricket, Arshdeep’s father Darshan Singh, who himself wanted to be a cricketer, shed light on the day he saw a future cricketer in his son.

Arshdeep's talent was recognised by his own father, when an 8-year old Arshdeep bowled in front of him while playing in the park.

image-l8ojsbt2Arshdeep did well against SA [PC; Associated Press]

“When he was 7-8 years old, while playing in the park, when other kids were literally throwing the ball, Arshdeep had a very smooth left-armer's action," Arshdeep Singh's father said.

"Then I took him and his brother to the academy, where Arsh started training as an 8-year-old - but then I got transferred and his training got discontinued," his father continued.

The Role of Coach Jasvant Rai 

Darshan Singh, further added the role Arshdeep’s childhood coach Jasvant Rai played in his school days, paving his way to the U16 level. 

"But later a couple of my friends forced me to send Arshdeep back to training and he again started as a 12-13 year-old with Jasvant Rai Sir of Guru Nanak Public School."

"Jasvant Sir helped him a lot and polished him to play Under-16 level cricket before he graduated to play Under-19."

From Canada plans to India U19

During the U19 days, Arshdeep had struggled to find a place in the team. His father was keen to send him to Canada with his elder brother in 2017 as he was unsure if there was a future in the game.

But Arshdeep had his sights set on his goals. He requested his father for one year to make a life in cricket. And the rest as they say was history.

image-l8ojxk8uArshdeep in action [PC: Associated Press]

"In U19 days he got fewer opportunities because of senior players getting more chances - that made us frustrated thinking would Arshdeep get his chances or not?

"In the meantime, his brother migrated to Canada and I suggested Arshdeep to do the same for future security. However, Arsh asked me for a year to try his luck, otherwise I'll go to my brother. Then he did all the hard work with Jasvant Sir who polished all his shortcomings."

 It all started with him doing well at district level which earned him a place in Punjab U19 team. He then had an exceptional performance in the Challenger Trophy - where he got noticed by Rahul Dravid and Venkatesh Prasad.

"That performance in the Challenger Trophy helped him get into the U-19 camp (of which he initially wasn't a part of) but an injury to some other player aided him to replace Arshdeep in the U-19 Asia Cup squad. And then we all know he got picked for the U-19 World Cup where he again did wonders."

Also Read: Arshdeep Singh confident of bowling in any phase of the game