~ While Jodhpur’s Shubham Garhwal idolizes the Indian legend, Gorakhpur’s Anunay Singh has always wanted to bowl fast like the Australian ~
National, 13 March 2022: Back in 2011 when India faced Australia in the Quarterfinals of the ICC Men’s World Cup in Mohali, two of Rajasthan Royals’ newly signed players were watching it very closely. While one of Rajasthan’s own, Shubham Garhwal, was a 15-year-old who wanted to smash sixes like fellow left hander Yuvraj Singh, Gorakhpur’s Anunay Singh was slightly older at 18 years of age, seeing Brett Lee and Zaheer Khan trouble the batters with their pace and skills.
“I was really young back then, playing gully cricket in my hometown of Jodhpur and couldn’t even hold the bat with the correct grip. But seeing Yuvraj Singh have a wonderful tournament in 2011 really inspired me. I am also a left-hander so I used to love how he could hit the ball so effortlessly. I think that was a period which really changed my life for the good,” stated 26-year-old Garhwal.
Meanwhile, 29-year-old Singh, who represents Bihar in the domestic circuit, recalled, “I’ve always had this thing for fast bowling. Brett Lee being one of the greatest ever bowlers, I just used to look at his pace and try to emulate it on the field. I may not be as fast as him (laughs), but he’s certainly an idol for me given his skills, temperament and controlled aggression.”
Fast forward 11 years, the new Royals duo is set to take part in the biggest league cricket competition in the world. “I’m so excited to represent the Royals this season. The biggest focus for me will be to train well and give my 200% in all the nets sessions. I’m also looking forward to working with a legend like Lasith Malinga, and great bowlers like Boult, Saini and Krishna,” expressed right-arm pacer Singh.
“I take a lot of pride in representing the Royals. I am from Rajasthan myself and it’s the biggest moment of my life. The happiness that I’ve seen on my parents’ faces is something that inspires me to give my all for the team. I am really looking forward to working with Sanga Sir as well. He’s been one of the greatest left-handers in the sport, and I’m sure his advice will take my game to the next level,” stated an excited Garhwal.
The striking bit about the duo was that they were both spotted during the trials which were conducted at the Royals High Performance Centre in Nagpur. “I felt like I was in good touch during the trials but still with so many players up for sale in the auction, I wasn’t very confident that I’ll get picked. When I was bought, I was over the moon, I couldn’t believe it,” expressed a reminiscing Garhwal.
On the other hand, Singh commented, “In mid 2021, I was actually giving trials for the Red Bull Speedster programme in Lucknow where former Royals' bowler Munaf Patel was present, but I did not have a great day there and was asked to keep working on myself. I put in the hard work post that, and was eventually recommended for the trials at Royals. Everyone liked my bowling there but I still knew I had to develop more. Ever since the auction as well, I’ve only tried to grow and learn everyday, and hopefully it will pay off soon.”
Garhwal and Singh, along with the Rajasthan
Royals team, will start their IPL 2022 campaign on 29th March.