Post retirement, Manpreet Gony eyes foreign leagues
When Yuvraj Singh announced his retirement from domestic and international cricket, an era came to an end not just for India but for Punjab cricket too. Another jolt was when Punjab’s main fast bowler Manpreet Gony too bid adieu to domestic and international cricket.
It was not easy to take retirement for someone who had dominated the Punjab bowling department in the last decade. Not to forget the ripples he had created in the inaugural Indian Premier League (IPL) season while playing for Chennai Super Kings under MS Dhoni - subsequently he was included in the India ODI team for Asia Cup in 2008. However, he could never extend his career beyond two ODIs. Due to niggling injuries and emergence of new-age pacers Gony could not make a comeback in the national team.
It was his urge to play in T20 and T10 global leagues and also leave a space for youngsters in the state team that propelled Gony to reach at the decision. Following Yuvraj’s footsteps, Gony also signed up for Toronto Nationals team in the upcoming Canada Global T20 League. The trigger happened when Gony took the trials for Mumbai Indians as well as Kings XI Punjab and later Delhi capitals teams in the last season of IPL but did not fetch any offer.
Speaking from Vancouver, the 35-year-old Gony explained the reason for his retirement.
“I had a blast playing for Punjab in the last decade. Being a useful T20 campaigner, I really wanted to play in the IPL last season. I could not fetch a contract unfortunately. Moreover, I thought youngsters should be given chances in the state team. When Yuvi Paaji told me about the Canada T20 Canada Global League, I was excited and had to take retirement in order to play in the league,” said Gony, who made his first-class debut in 2007 as a hit-the-deck quick and started out in the shorter formats in domestic cricket the next season. Gony ended with 1226 runs and 196 wickets in 61 first-class matches, 479 runs and 77 wickets in 55 List A games, and 501 runs and 96 wickets in 90 T20s.
Recently, he turned up for Ginny Memorial team in the Canada’s BC Big Bash League in Vancouver and is now waiting for the Toronto Nationals camp to start on July 19 in Toronto. “It would be great to be playing alongside international cricketers like Trent Boult, Brendon Mc Cullum, Kieron Pollard and Yuvi Paaji in a relatively new T20 league. I am sure big crowds are going to turn up for the games. Punjabi’s would love to see Yuvi Paaji in action and hitting his lofty sixes. I am also excited for the new challenge in my side. Punjab cricketers have had good experience of playing in the Canada cricket tournaments in the recent years,” felt Gony, who will return to India in August and aims to get attached to the Punjab Cricket Association in a new role.
“I have seen highs and lows as a fast bowler in the last decade. Sometimes you do not realise that you have to take care of your fitness and form at the same time and you just ignore injuries. As an experienced bowler, I would like to pass on this to the younger breed of quickies and mould them into affective cricketers,” added Gony, who played for different teams like Chennai Super Kings, Kings XI Punjab, Gujarat Lions and Deccan Chargers in IPL.
“I can never forget MS Dhoni’s, Harbhajan Singh’s, Yuvi Paaji’s and PCA selectors’ contribution to my cricket career. At one time, I did not have money to survive and had no job. Then the family crisis made me more vulnerable. I am in a very happy state at the moment. I would really like to give back to the game, make some contribution in my capacity and also enjoy playing the shorter format cricket. It is hard to stay away from the sport,” said an emotional Gony.
It is not just the Canada T20 League which interests Gony, in fact he is very keen on signing up for teams taking part in the Dubai T10 League and Euro T20 Slam which will be jointly hosted by Ireland, Scotland and Netherlands which is set to take place from August 30 to September 22, the tournament is expected to feature 33 matches in total. “I am in touch with different global leagues officials. I would like to do well in the Canada T20 Global League and then also find berth in teams for T10 Dubai League and Euro T20 Slam,” concluded Gony.
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