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A happy ending to Harpreet's story

Madhu Jawali, DH News Service, Bengaluru, Apr 21 2017, 0:52 IST

Turnaround in fortunes

Harpreet Singh Bhatia

Harpreet Singh Bhatia

Harpreet Singh Bhatia’s story, after all, has a happy ending now.In a case of mistaken identity, the Madhya Pradesh batsman had been ignored by the IPL franchises during this year’s auction, leaving the 25-year-old “mentally disturbed.”

On Thursday, however, Harpreet’s wish of being part of this IPL came true when he joined the optional practice session of the Royal Challengers Bangalore who have now signed him as a replacement for the injured Sarfaraz Khan for the remainder of the 10th edition.

“Initially when I wasn’t picked in the auction I was a little upset because I thought I would make it considering I was the highest run-getter in the domestic T20 event. There was no clarity on whether I wasn’t picked because of the confusion in names or some other reason, so that bothered me a little,” Harpreet said on Thursday.

The left-handed batsman was the highest run-getter in the Syed Mushtaq Ali competition, having amassed 211 runs in four matches for Central Zone at an average of 52.75 and a strike-rate of 145.51 per 100 balls just before the auction and he was hoping to get picked by one of the franchises.

On the morning of the February 21 auction here, however, a news agency wrongly reported that Harpreet had been arrested and then granted bail for driving his car on to the platform of the Andheri railway station in Mumbai while the offender, in fact, was Harmeet Singh, the left-arm spinner who was part of the Under-19 World Cup-winning squad in 2012 in Australia under Unmukt Chand.

It’s quite possible that by the time the correction was issued, the franchises at the auction had taken note of the original news. Harpreet then had said he was ‘mentally disturbed’ by the development.

“I am getting calls from everyone asking what have you done. I was hoping to be picked up at the IPL auction… When my name came, the franchises must have felt why take a player who is in police custody,” he had said then.

No giving up

Harpreet, however, quickly left his disappointment behind and worked hard on his game and fitness, hoping good things will soon some come knocking on his doors.

“I never gave up hope and kept working hard because I believed I may get my chances during the course of the tournament. I was thrilled when I got the RCB call-up 2-3 days ago,” he said.

“At RCB, I’m looking forward to interacting with the current international stars and watching them from close quarters. It is going to be a great learning experience for me and I’m looking forward to this new beginning.”

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