The news of Patiala lad Anmolpreet Singh’s making it to the India team for the under-19 cricket World Cup that starts in Bangladesh on January 27 has sent the household into frenzy; and his father, Punjab Police inspector Satvinder Pal Singh, can barely handle his excitement.
“I am speechless. It is God’s blessing. I am very proud of my son,” said Satvinder Singh, who was a handball player before joining police. After winning youth One-Day International (ODI) series in Sri Lanka, Anmolpreet Singh had just landed in Delhi when his younger brother, Tejpreet Singh, who had gone with his cousin to receive him, broke the good news to him. The brothers celebrated at the airport before setting off to Patiala.
“The past couple of years have been good for me. I am happy that the selectors have recognised my hard work and dedication. It’s a huge responsibility and a big platform for me. I am geared up to do well for the country,” said Anmolpreet Singh, whose younger brother, Tejpreet Singh, has represented Punjab at the under-16 level.
Introduced to the game at 8, when he played with his cousins at family home, Anmolpreet Singh later started going to the Black Elephant Cricket Club (BECC) and from there shifted to Dhruv Pandove Stadium.
His cousin, wicket-keeper and batsman Prabhsimran Singh, is part of the current Punjab under-16 squad. “Anmolpreet came to me in 2011. He is a rare talent with a very mature head. He has the ability to bat for long and puts a prize on his wicket. He had a wonderful outing in the Cooch Behar tournament last year and was the top run-getter for Punjab,” said former Punjab player and Anmolpreet’s coach Munish Bali.
The Patiala lad has scored runs in heaps. His last year Cooch Behar tally was 1,154, and this year, in the only match he played for Punjab, he scored 113 against Jharkhand. He was then picked for the India under-19 team for the tri-series in Kolkata against Bangladesh and Afghanistan. After winning that campaign, the team toured Sri Lanka for another tri-series, against hosts and England. India again dominated and won the final against the Lankans.
“I am sure he will do well for the country. He has the ability to play at the highest level and I am happy at the way his career has progressed, from strength to strength,” said coach Bali.
HP’s Mayank also named
Himachal Pradesh left-arm orthodox bowler Mayank Dagar has also made it to the India under-19 World Cup squad. The student of Shimla’s Bishop Cotton School played in a tri-series in Kolkata and, later, toured Sri Lanka. He has taken 15 wickets, so far, in seven outings for in the India under-19 uniform.