A Night Guard, a Delivery Man’s Son: Inspiring IPL 2018 Stories
Rinku Singh, Mujeeb Zadran and Manzoor Dar.
Rinku Singh, Mujeeb Zadran and Manzoor Dar.(Photo: Harsh Sahani/The Quint)

A Night Guard, a Delivery Man’s Son: Inspiring IPL 2018 Stories

'Where talent meets opportunity’ has been the tagline of the Indian Premier League since it’s inception. The T20 league has been a platform for uncapped cricketers – who may, or may not be known in the domestic circuit – to display their talent to the world.

And this year round, it was the lesser-known cricketers that were sought after and found a place among the eight franchises, while a lot of the big names like Lasith Malinga, Hashim Amla and Joe Root remained unsold.

Here’s a look at three inspiring stories of cricketers who will be playing in IPL 2018.

Manzoor Dar

(Photo Courtesy: Facebook/Manzoor Pandav)

J&K batsman Manzoor Dar, also known as Pandav, bagged his maiden IPL deal of Rs 20 lakh from Kings XI Punjab. Known for his power hitting, Dar became the second player from Kashmir to be drafted into a franchise after Parvez Rasool, who failed to attract a single bid during the auction.

Born to a labourer, the 24-year-old cricketer who hails from Sonawari area of Bandipore district, reportedly worked as a security guard at night while playing cricket in the day.

Besides representing Jammu and Kashmir in the Ranji Trophy, he recently helped his team win a couple of matches in the recent Mushtaq Ali T20 north zone.

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Rinku Singh

(Photo Courtesy: Facebook/Rinku Singh)

Rinku Singh played just one game in his maiden IPL season for Kings XI Punjab, who bagged him for his base prices of Rs 10 lakh at the 2017 auction. Just a year later, and the 20-year-old from Aligarh was sold to KKR for Rs 80 lakh – four times his base price of Rs 20 lakh.

Son of an LPG cylinder delivery man, Rinku lives with his family of nine inside an LPG Company compound. While one of his five brothers drives an auto-rickshaw, another works at a tuition centre; his 16-year-old brother Jeetu also plays cricket.

Singh has represented Uttar Pradesh in all three formats of the game since making his T20 debut during the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy tournament in 2014. He has scored a total of 375 runs in 27 T20s at a strike rate of 133.45 and average of 19.73.

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Mujeeb Zadran

(Photo Courtesy: Facebook/Mujeeb Zadran)

All of 16-years-old, Afghanistan spinner Mujeeb Zadran was richer by Rs 4 crore when Kings XI Punjab made the winning bid for the teen sensation. The 16-year-old capped cricketer, who came in at a base price of Rs 50 lakh, created history by becoming the youngest player to be picked at an IPL player auction.

His father passed away just three months after he was born, and Zadran grew up with his grandparents. Coming from a well-off business family that owns a lot of land in their village located in Afghanistan’s Khost province, he didn’t really face any financial struggles while growing up.

Zadran started playing cricket just four years back in his home’s ground which had been converted into a practice area for his cousin Noor Ali Zadran, who is currently in Afghanistan’s senior team. The 16-year-old picked up four wickets in his maiden One Day International, played against Ireland on 5 December 2017.

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