Simaranjit Singh: Rejected by PCA to getting ready for Ireland debut. The EPIC journey!

He has broken into the Irish national team on the back of consistent all-round performances in Ireland's first-class competitions

Simranjit Singh, the 30-year old Indian-origin cricketer, who was shunned by Punjab Cricket Association, is all set to make his debut for Ireland. Gurinder Sandhu, Deepak Patel, Jeevan Patel and Ish Sodhi all have been Indian-origin cricketers but have represented different countries. Singh is ready to follow their footsteps (perhaps too late for International cricket) but he certainly will look to make the most of his opportunity. Simaranjit Singh, whose family still stays in Mohali, has broken into the Irish national team on the back of consistent all-round performances in Ireland’s first-class competitions, making the most of what was on offer.

It seems he is all set to make his debut against New Zealand.  The 30-year-old, called ‘Simi’, is also in the Irish squad that is slated to play their one-off One-dayer against West Indies to be held on September 13.

Ireland was granted Test status by the ICC on June 22, this year. For Simranjit Singh, this happens to be his long-awaited dream of playing Test cricket.

“Although, I didn’t play international cricket for India, hopefully, I’ll play my first Test for Ireland soon,” Simi told TOI, from Dublin.

“He (Simaranjit) was named the best player at the 46th National School Games held in Vijayawada in 2001,” father Amarjit Singh shared. Despite being a consistent performer, Simi failed to make the cut at the U-19 level.

“It was a frustrating time for me and my family. My dream to play for India was nipped in the bud,” Simi recollected.

“He was hardworking, he was treated badly here (in Punjab). Simi didn’t get the chance to prove his mettle at the U-19 level,” said Bharti Vij, Simaranjit’s coach. “He was an opening batsman with a sound technique,” he added.

“I would play cricket on the weekend by paying five euros per game. I worked at a grocery store so that I could afford to pay to play cricket,” reminisced Simi.

It will be great to see another Indian-origin player take the game to a country and hopefully help in increasing its popularity.