Mumbai thrashed Uttarakhand in the Ranji Trophy quarter-final, on their way to the semi-final recently. In that Uttarakhand team is a promising young cricketer named Kamal Singh. The 21-year-old left hander made his domestic debut in 2020, but faced some serious hurdles in his life on the way.
The left-handed batter won a battle with the dreaded disease that is cancer, much like one of Indian cricket’s most loved, Yuvraj Singh. Kamal, who began his career with a century on debut in the Ranji Trophy against Maharashtra, was detected with stage two blood cancer in 2014, which threatened to let his career take off.
"We found out that the platelet count was very low. The doctor suggested that we go to Noida (a city more than 700 kms away) for treatment - he asked us to go out and show it at a better medical facility somewhere near Delhi," Kamal was quoted as saying on Cricbuzz.
Kamal hails from Kunwarpur a tiny village in Uttarakhand's Garhwal region.
"At that age, I didn't realise the enormity of the disease. It seemed as if it was just another disease which required treatment, which would run for six months. The thought of wanting to go back and play cricket gave me the fighting spirit to beat cancer. I beat cancer because I wanted to play cricket,” he stated.
"Woh bachpan waala nahi hota? Bachpan mein hum galat cheeze nahi dekhte, sirf achi cheeze dekhte hai (That's the thing about being a teenager, you only look at the positive side of life). I would only think about what I'm going to do ahead in life, not what I'm going to miss out on. I was only looking forward to coming back and playing - only looking at the solution to get back fit at the earliest, not the problem that I was facing," Kamal added.
The opener who idolises Gautam Gambhir, has played 5 games in the Ranji Trophy, scoring 387 runs with 1 century and 2 fifties to go. In List A cricket, he has played 9 games, scoring 428 runs at an average of 53.50 with a century and three fifties.
"When I had started out, there were no aspirations to play for India. Without a team on the domestic circuit, we had nothing to look forward to. It was only when I started doing well that I felt like I could play for India. If I do really well in the next few years, maybe I might get into India A or IPL. Belonging to a state like Uttarakhand, it's very difficult to play for India directly. But no one knows what's written in my destiny," he said.